Moving Out.

23 06 2012

Hey guys, this may be my last ever post up here, as my blog has moved over to scottishgeeks.com now. So hopefully I shall be providing the same stuff, but on a real website now! ūüôā check out my first post on there at: http://scottishgeeks.com/the-life-of-a-plastic-drummer/. I hope you like it ūüėÄ

Oh, also, sorry for the lack of updates recently, my laptop died a while ago, so I haven’t been able to write in a while. ūüė¶





The Indie Scene

25 05 2012

Right, so firstly, I would like to point you in the direction of¬†www.becausewemay.com. It is a fantastic site that I just found out about that is for all you indie game lovers out there, and not only that, but they are offering you lovely people massive savings across a bunch of platforms, even including a couple of free games too ūüôā

Right, now, when I get round to it, I’m going to be writing up a list of the best songs to play games to (probably shooters). Now, I¬†realize¬†that music is a huge matter of opinion, so to help this, I have my friend helping me out. I’m in the hope that doing so will make this list a bit less one-sided. So, when I have thought a bit more about it, and spent longer listening to music and refining my list, then I’ll write it up for you lovely people. So watch this space guys!¬†





A Child’s Worst Nightmare

25 05 2012

Well, we all know that parenting is a difficult task, to say the least. However, when you’re sitting on the child side of the relationship, the whole ordeal feels like a long, boring struggle for freedom. Our 10 year-old selves, feeling like the unjustly punished victim as we sit in the lonely prison that is the infamous naughty step, when all we did was set the living room on fire. Life is so unfair.

Take a look at the world of video games however, and we start to see how much worse life could have been. With parents abandoning, murdering or simply just not caring about their little bundles of joy. ¬†Oh, and by the way, there will be some minor spoilers ahead, you have been warned. Now, without further ado, I give you, ‘The Worst 5 Parents in Gaming’.

The Worst 5 Parents in Gaming

5. James (Your Dad) – Fallout 3

One of the best (and only) pieces of advice he ever gives you

Now, Liam Neeson has portrayed himself as a great father plenty of times, so it was about time for him to be a prime example of a bad parent, and he does just this in Fallout 3. Near the beginning of Fallout 3, you wake up one day, with Vault 101 in panic and disarray, (In my first playthrough, I thought we were being invaded by monsters, who were tearing our bodies to shreds…) it turns out, your dad has just upped and left you, without a single warning from him, he just leaves you.

Now, this is not the part that makes him one of he worst parents ever.(even though it’s still a bloody crappy thing to do) It’s more the fact that the whole Vault is ran by an overseer that has more than a couple of screws loose, and he drives you out of the vault, into the cruel harsh Capitol Wasteland. This Wasteland is not just the victim of a nuclear war, but it also holds some of the nastiest creatures around, including super mutant behemoths, not to mention all the psychopaths wandering about. (the only thing that could make it a worse place is giant, rabid, mutant chickens) Oh well, at least he taught you how to fire a BB gun.

4. Ethan Mars – Heavy Rain

His own child won’t even sit next to him

Now, I admit, this guy is not that bad a father for the most part, and is a rather unlucky guy. However, his main flaw is his ability to lose all his concentration, leaving his children as victims to the cruelty of the real world, and this really screws him over throughout the game. Firstly, he manages to lose one of his two children in a shopping mall. Yeah, sure, plenty of people have done this before, but most people don’t then find the child wrapped around the bumper of a car on the street. That’s right, by the time he finds his child again, it is too late to stop his untimely death.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, a bit later on in the game, he then starts daydreaming whilst in the park with his only remaining child, only to find that he has been kidnapped from right under his nose. Now, yes, he does spend the rest of the game jumping through flaming hoops to try and get the child back, but you can’t really argue with the record of one child dead and the other kidnapped…

 

3. You – The Sims

Go ahead, go and make more babies to ignore.

Now, when we sit down and really judge ourselves, I think most of us will see that when it comes to gaming, most of us are awful parents. For every game that gives us the chance to make little devil spawn, there are thousands of people taking their sweet time to find new ways of making their lives a living nightmare. Personally though, I feel like The Sims gives us the biggest selection of ways to show the world what awesome parents we are.

Some people like to find masochistic ways to torture their children, like setting a room on fire, and removing the door. Others however are just so busy jumping into bed with every Sim we happen to come across to care about their children, leading to a vicious cycle of producing children, just to leave them to die, in order to make even more children.

2. Your Parents – Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

 

Here, take these and please run away from home.

We all know that the mum in Pokemon games always gets a bad reputation for her amazing children skills. but I feel like your mum and dad in the 3rd generation of pokemon games just take the cake. Firstly your dad, he just seems to care way more about his pokemon than he does you, spending all his time ruling over all the puny trainers in his gym. In fact, the only real things he ever says to you are just telling you to become a better trainer, because “you’re doing great son”, is clearly not enough motivation in the world of pokemon.

Then we have your mum, she very clearly encourages you, at the age of 10 to leave home and go take on an ‘adventure’ (which involves battling adults twice the size of him, and taking on an evil corporation whose target is to basically destroy the world). Not only this, but she even gives you some handy running shoes, which, I always just saw as a subliminal message, that walking away from home clearly wasn’t quick enough for her.

 

1. Your Mum – The Binding of Isaac

Child crying on the floor – clearly a sign of great parenting

Now, most of the parents in this list are just stupid, clumsy, or plain lazy. In the Binding of Isaac though, your mum is actually trying to kill you. That’s right, Isaac’s mum hears a mysterious voice (who she believes is god) who tells her to go and kill her only son, you. So, Isaac does what any scared child would do in this situation and hides. Unfortunately, Isaac decides to hide in the basement, which is oddly littered with demons, traps and lots more that also want to see him dead, heck, even the devil himself is in there for some reason.For¬†Christ¬†sake, this clearly disturbed child even fights using his own tears, that should say enough in itself.

As you battle your way through rooms and rooms of horrifying nightmares, you slowly gain strength, only to eventually face off with your very own mother. Yes, your very own mother is the end game boss, now, if that isn’t a bad example of parenting right there, I really don’t know what is.





That Hanging Feeling

22 05 2012

Right, okay guys, even though I should probably be working away right now, I thought I’d give myself a well deserved break ūüėõ I thought I could bring you another list article today. So without further ado, I bring you guys, ‘The Top 7 Games To Play When You’re Hungover’, I hope you like it ūüôā

The Top 7 Games To Play When You’re Hungover


Okay, So we’ve all been there, (or at least, most of us have). Waking up in the morning, finding yourself half naked on the bathroom floor, with a horrid smell coming from the toilet, and a foul taste partying in your mouth. You attempt to stand up, only to find that the laws of gravity have 3x the power they usually do over you, and your head feels like a 100kg weight, throwing itself to the ground with every bit of energy it has. When you finally get up and get yourself back in (slight) order, you¬†realize¬†what a mistake last night was, and try to remember even the smallest details about the night before, most notably, how you got home. Then, after throwing a bunch of medicine down your throat in the hope that something helps, you vouch to never drink again, as the long ¬†day looms before you. What to do, why, what else but game of course, but what to play. Your reflexes are almost none existent, and loud noises become echoing screams. This leaves your games collection considerably reduced, as the whining of teenage boys telling you ‘you’re a noob’ would burn your ear drums, and anything which requires too much energy, concentration or timing would melt your puny little dehydrated brain. Well, I am (hopefully) here to answer your prayers and give you a list of 7 games that are almost designed with this moment entirely in mind.

7. The Sims 3 (PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS)

Only the beginning of their problems

Now, this is not quite the perfect game for a hangover, as you still have to put up with the whiny, annoying little sims whose lives you have to look after. However, the beauty of sims is that you don’t have to pay attention to them. You could spend all day in build mode, finding awesome and creative ways to build your dream home. If you’re anything like me though, playing The Sims whilst hungover becomes somewhat of a more masochistic affair, as I usually just spend hours trying to kill my little virtual pets, and all their friends too. First you start off small, and just stick a bunch of sims in an enclosed space filled with flammable objects, and start a fire, such a classic. However, you soon start to¬†realize¬†that there are much more creative ways to inflict so much pain upon those unsuspecting victims that it makes your hangover seem like a picnic. Why not lock them in a basement with not quite enough resources to survive, and see what they do. Or just invite your¬†neighbours¬†around, lock them in a basement, and keep them as hostages, then bring them out 1 by 1, with a challenge prepared for them. Start out simple and see if they can cook 5 meals without starting a fire, then ramp it up a bit more¬†every time¬†leaving them with near impossible tasks, like making their way through a flaming obstacle course. Don’t let me think of all of your ideas though, use your own imagination.

6. LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

Sackboy: the happiest sack I have ever met

Again, this is one of those games, which, in the wrong hands, can be horrible for a hangover, making you use your brain and reflexes if you decide to play some challenging levels. However, we’ll ignore that side of the game in this situation, but rather, we’ll focus on the creation aspect. If you can think of it, you can probably make it. Personally, I am not a big fan of using the LittleBigPlanet tool set to create entire levels, but that’s just me, you can go right ahead. I personally prefer to create little balls of furry fun for me to mess about in, why not just make a giant rabbit and see how high you can get it to jump? or maybe create some chickens and make them a race course, only to put a giant pit of lovely (and only slightly deadly) spikes at the bottom of a 100 foot drop, right at the end of the race, leaving that happy winning chicken some time to think about what he has done before meeting a timely end. Again, this is one for your imaginations (not my rather messed up one).

5. Viva Pinata (Xbox 360, DS)

They’re just so damn cute!

Viva Pinata is a game which has a bit of a slower pace than most, leaving your hungover self a very happy bunny. You are tasked with maintaining your very own garden, so that lots of cute Pinatas will want to come and live there. From the moment your very first Whirlm becomes a resident in garden, the enjoyment begins, almost every Pinata is cute as hell, and explodes with their own personality, all the way right down to their mating dances (that’s right, pinatas get it on by dancing). There is so much joy to be had when forging your garden from a small Whirlm patch, all the way up to a Sanctuary for your precious Elephanillas. The only issue for your slowly disintegrating mental health is the extremely annoying ruffians which insist on destroying your ornaments, filling up your pond and breaking your pinatas, sending them to Pinata heaven, a wonderful world filled with Ice cream hills, Chocolate fountains, ‘candy’ mountains and all without a single sour pinata in sight…they go straight to hell.

4. Minecraft (PC, Xbox 360)

…Not quite as cute…

Yes, we have creepers, pig-zombies and ghasts in Minecraft, however, turn peaceful mode on, or play in creative mode, and you have one of my¬†favourite¬†hangover cures to this date. Whether you are mining for resources, trying to build your perfect house (which always ends up with me trying to make an entire perfect city) or just exacting sweet, sweet revenge upon those damn chickens, you can literally sink hours upon hours into Minecraft. Stray away from the multiplayer and just dedicate the day to finally finishing your utopia project, and you’ll be saying goodbye to crippling headaches before you can say ‘there’s a creeper in my house’.

3. Journey (PS3)

Just…wow

What better way to forget about the journey that was last night, by starting a new one yourself. Journey is a delightful game, and at times feels more like a piece of art than it does a game. Simply put, everything about this game will make your brains retreat back into your skull. Whether it be the amazing soundtrack, or just the glorious sights that are to be seen. You can just focus on getting your little scarf clad self back on its way. This is one journey that you certainly wont want to forget, let’s just hope that the memory loss from the alcohol doesn’t spill all the way over to the (now rather beautiful) hangover.

2. Flower (PS3)

One of many calming moments you’ll be having


This is yet again another game which is practically just a piece of artwork. Heck, this game is so good, it even manages to make the six-axis controls feel useful. drifting your troubles away into a flurry of flowers and petals is a great moment, and suddenly all those dark, dank horrible colours from last night transform into a whirlwind of beauty and calm. I don’t know what else I can say about this really, other than it will relax you so much, you may forget that you are even awake, let alone hungover.

1. Animal Crossing (N64, Gamecube, DS, Wii)  

Laughter is Indeed the best medicine


The real world is one full of horrible crimes, foul people, and the most unrelenting and harsh creature in existence, mother nature. However, Animal Crossing lets you forget all about the real world and live inside a true utopia. Andrew Ryan had it truly wrong, to make a perfect world, all you need is animal neighbours. With your letter box full to the brim with letters about how wonderful the weather is today, and how much everybody loves you, nothing could make you angry or upset in this little town. Everybody’s smiles are almost tearing their faces in to pieces they are that big, and I can see why, this is a town built around being friendly, making everywhere look nice, and fishing, what’s not to be happy about. Heck even the most horrific face of the town, Tom Nook is still a nice guy, who runs around his shop laughing away (probably because of how much profit he’s making, but still). In a world of drunk people and hangovers, there is no better cure than to live in one filled with picturesque towns and happy animals…Just don’t forget to save…





To Kill a Chicken

22 05 2012

So today I thought I’d update you with a little article that would kind of give you guys an insight into what I actually think about when I’m not screaming at creepers or fearlessly¬†charging head first into a patch of tall grass. That my good friends, is chickens. Yes, you heard me, chickens.¬†You see, I have noticed over the past week or so whilst playing several games, that I have some sort of vendetta against chickens (not the real kind, but the pixelated kind)

Personally, I think that this all comes down to me playing the Legend of Zelda games far too much. As many people will know, chickens, (or cuccos, as they are known in Zelda games) are somewhat of an often sight in the land of Hyrule, appearing in no less than 10 different games. This is not my reasoning however, it is more that these are creatures of extreme power, and when set off, they have no mercy, give me a Gannondorf over these guys anyday.

Enough to defeat 4 links at once

 

You see, ever since A Link To The Past, Link can be trotting around Hyrule (or wherever else he may be), only to see a gathering of cucoos ahead of him. Being a curious little boy, Link tentatively walks up to these¬†intriguing creatures. However, this being Link, the havoc wreaking punk of all Hyrule, decides that it would be a great idea to turn this beautiful moment into a bloodbath, drawing his sword and swinging wildly with no remorse. Little does he know however, that he has just messed with the wrong guys (and probably would have been better sticking to breaking¬†everybody’s pots). Without a question, the Cucco calls for help, and before you now it, a hurricane of Cuccos are flying around your screen,¬†invulnerable, and on a rampage. Swooping down with hits worthy of multiple hearts of damage, Link quickly¬†realises¬†his mistake and runs for the hills, but it’s too late, and before he knows it, his bottles, once filled to the brim with fairy dust, are all empty, and a short lived life comes to an end with the sight of a game over screen.

This is not the end of it however, as much as I know how bad an idea it is, to this day, not matter what Zelda game, I continue to attack any Cucco I see on sight, in the hope that one day, I will find a weak spot in their defences, and fell one of the foul beasts. To this day, I have not found one, but I am a patient man, and I may not win the war, but one day, I vouch to at least win a battle.

Unfortunately, this mentality has spread over to other games as well. For example, in Minecraft, I cannot see a chicken and let it live, it must pay for all of its ancestors wrongdoings towards me. The same goes for Gears of War 3, as soon as I see a chicken in that game, I drop whatever objective I had, charge headfirst no matter what lies ahead of me, risking life and limb, all so I can kick that bird into a sweet puffy ball of feathers and blood.

Peter knows the true evil of chickens.

There are even more games I could rant on about, however, I may be here all day.Long story short, if I see a chicken in a game it dies. If it can’t die, I at very least make its life a living hell, just ask any chicken-like residents I have ever had in Animal Crossing, their mail boxes are full to the brim with letters about how I plan on killing them for my next meal…

Thankfully, I am still at the point in which this horrible mindset has not bubbled over onto the path of my reality. I can see it now, me laughing in a restaurant, mocking the dead chicken as I devour it, screaming insults at it and claiming my revenge whilst the public stare at me, wondering why I am not in a mental asylum yet. If, (or more like when) this day comes, you will all know where to find me, in the local farm, striking down chickens as they come at me with¬†terrifying¬†fury screaming “feel the wrath of my wooden sword! I knew it would be dangerous to come here alone!”. Then as I was escorted away by the police, I would feel happy inside, as deep down, I knew I’d finally won…

Wow, well, it’s a very good thing I’m not crazy just yet. You win for now chickens. Your move.





Nocturnal

1 02 2012

Well, it’s gone 6am, so naturally, I’m wide awake, when I should be sleeping. :/ In these late hours of the night, I have been searching the internet for my usual gaming fix, naturally, I came across more articles about the recent piracy issues, however I came across two that sparked my intrigue more than usual (http://digitalbattle.com/2012/01/21/the-hypocrisy-of-pc-gamers/¬†and http://digitalbattle.com/2012/01/31/letter-from-an-indie-pc-developer-regarding-piracy/) and quite frankly, I am disgusted with what these articles are claiming.

Personally, I am against the whole SOPA and PIPA nonsense, however these kind of articles do make me think sometimes that we could very well do with an act like SOPA or PIPA, but just a toned down version, which wont shut down the internet as we know it. So with all that in mind, I have decided to write about what we could do to stop this stupidity.

How to save the modern world.

Firstly, I am going to level with you all, and tell you that I did at one point actually support piracy. This was several years ago, when I was young and never really thought of the consequences it actually has, to me, it was just free stuff. However, I now write to you as a much more mature man, with an (albeit slight) understanding of the workings of the world. I have gone from never buying a thing (that includes music, films, TV and games), to occasionally pirating difficult to acquire items, to being against piracy in full. Just as a side note, I am also, for the same reason against buying used, however, I consider this a necessary evil, as otherwise, trying to buy anything more than a couple of years old would become near impossible/insanely priced.

Now although I realise that all this piracy malarkey¬†has an effect on many industries, I am, as usual, going to take this down the route of gaming, as this is what I know best, and what is most relevant to me. Originally, (as I’ve been planning to write on this for a while) this was going to be an article about how piracy should still be allowed, and that publishers and developers should be finding better ways of distributing and marketing their games, however, after reviewing many articles lately, my mind has become much more opposed to piracy than it used to be. However, that said, they could still try.

The future is steamy

Now really, this is what started my switch from pirate to …ninja? well, I’m not really sure what I am now, apart from not being a pirate. Steam is a superb way for us to buy games, and for developers to sell them. With cloud based saves, a profile linked to all our game purchases (so no hassles when changing to a new PC) and insanely good sales, it’s more than fair to say that Steam is a great example of how to distribute games.

The logo of the future

You may also want to read this http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114391-Valves-Gabe-Newell-Says-Piracy-Is-a-Service-Problem. So, me saying that distribution¬†is a way to solve the issue means nothing, but it certainly holds a bit more weight when we have massive gaming icons like Gabe telling us. Yes, I would be stupid to think that just putting every game ever on steam would solve piracy, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.¬†I mean, Steam is by no means perfect, but it is still a work in-progress and continues to receive constant updates from valve, keeping it the best way we have to get out games.

Whilst I do not believe that games should ever go fully digital, I do think that the next-gen of consoles could also do with taking a page out of valve’s book and greatly improve their digital distribution services. Whilst Xbox Live and PSN to an acceptable job at bringing us add-ons and ‘arcade’ games, there is a huge lack of retail games for sale on them, they continue to be overpriced, with very few sales.¬†They are also very cumbersome, proving only useful at getting us to places we know we want to be, discovery clearly isn’t a word in their vocabulary.¬†In short, they need to get more developers behind the services they are offering, so that we can get a¬†much greater¬†mix of indie and blockbuster games, at better prices,¬†from the comfort of our couches. I’d love to see what the three next consoles have to offer us in the future, and it is clear they at least need to match up to steam’s mighty standards if they want to lay the foundation for the next 5-10 years worth of their online services.

Basically, my theory is that, if we get given the tools to easily find, buy and play our games, no matter the platform, for a good price, then there will be much less piracy in gaming. Sure, the developers will be getting less money per game, but some money is better than none, right? One big thing on my wish list would be a cross-platform service, where we could buy games for play across several consoles, like portal 2 (buying the ps3 version got you a steam key, and saves were shared across the cloud). However, this will likely never happen, as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will probably never reach a point in which they could work together to make this happen, as they all want their product to be better on an individual basis.

Show some respect

As a potential future games developer, it strikes fear into my heart that the PC has a 90% games piracy rate. I mean, it is difficult enough for a developer to make profit on their console games, let alone on a platform which shows a 9x higher piracy rate. Games will need to be selling millions more copies on PC for the studio to see a blockbuster worthy return on their games compared to console games, no wonder the developers more commonly choose consoles as their main platform.

What could have been ūüė•

Really, us gamers need to buckle up, we need to start showing some support for these guys, I mean, if we truly love their work, and want it to continue, we need to ensure¬†they have a job. We can do this very easily, start buying our games (they also have to be new, not used). I mean, really, I can honestly say that I have paid more on going shopping for sweets than some of my games have cost me (especially when looking at my steam library). If we start being more open to spending a few more pounds here and there on games (and DLC etc.), then the industry will start looking much better for it. It might just mean fewer trips to the sweet shop for some of us. Of course, this is under the assumption that we get met half way, and getting access to these become easier, because most of the time, the reason I buy a game used is because I can’t find anywhere to buy it new (at an anywhere near reasonable price anyway). We scratch their backs, they scratch ours…simple

We don’t want a treasure hunt

Simply put, marketing needs to become bigger, better and smarter.¬†I mean, I realise this¬†doesn’t have too much to do with piracy, but it will help. In the past few years, countless people have lost their jobs due to games just not selling, and yes,¬†although¬†sometimes this is¬†due to realising a poor product, but probably just as many times, it is just due to nobody¬†knowing about the game. Many people claim that if a game is good enough, then it will sell no matter how¬†bad the marketing is and whilst this can be true (look at minecraft for example, a game sold almost entirely from word of mouth), you also have to get lucky, there are clearly more¬†games that this theory didn’t prove¬†true with than those that did, making this tactic a little bit more than foolish to rely upon.

Yes, I appreciate that indie developers may not have the resources to pull out a call of duty style marketing campaign, but why not think outside the box, and design an innovative way to catch the interest of the gaming community. For example, Dead Rising 2 marketed itself with an odd cross-over between game and demo. Dead Rising 2: Case Zero provided a few short hours of Dead rising 2 gameplay, but with a unique prologue story, set in a location outside the main game. This was all offered a couple of weeks in advance to the full game, and for a fraction of the price, meaning any gamers wanting to get their hands on the game, and anybody unsure about whether to purchase the full game or not, could pick up this and get their hands dirty. This went down great with the community, and quickly became one of the fastest selling arcade games on Xbox Live, and (probably) boosted the awareness, and therefore sales, of the final product.

Admit it, you loved the dress.

Whilst this is only one example, it is probably one of the best, with the developers giving us¬†a much¬†better idea of how the game plays than our typical, stupidly short demos, and gaining some money for their efforts in the process, everybody won. Other, smaller ideas are things like a new promotion for Soul Calibur V (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_TLUJlhxrs) in which they painted a¬†promotion for their new game right across a London wall.¬†Whilst it is not quite as big a step as with DR2, it¬†still raises awareness¬†of the title, in a way that isn’t just a banner lurking in the corner of our monitor screens, it still does¬†more than nothing though, and (at the time of writing) over 30,000 people¬†have watched it on youtube, which is still¬†a possible 30,000 extra customers for the game, every little helps, right?¬†¬†

Shut down the pirates

Yes, I said it, we need to sink all those pirate ships before all this stops. Whilst the developers and publishers need to improve, I would have to think that, for us gamers to really show a big improvement, we need to stop the pirates. Sure, we can tempt them away with sales and easy access, but many people will still always go for the free option, so long as it is still an option. Whilst I still clearly disagree with the acts of SOPA and PIPA, it is not the fact they are killing piracy for me, more the fact that they would destroy the internet entirely, shutting down anything they want, whilst backhandedly claiming some sort of stupid (and possibly made up) breach of copyright, and we would be able to do nothing about it.

The good type of piracy.

So, we need to find a way to shut down the pirate sites, or at very least, all of the big ones, as searching the entire internet for every pirate copy would become a bit more difficult. If we make it almost impossible for people to pirate, they will have no other option but to start playing the honest game. Sure, many people will just not play the games, but I know that I’d much rather have a game with 2 million players, that all bought the game honestly, than a game with 4 million players, but only 20% actually buying the game. Makes pretty simple sense doesn’t it? ūüėõ

Rounding it up

I believe that to solve this crisis, and ‘save the modern world’ we will need an effort from all parties. I think publishers and developers should make an effort to find a simpler and cheaper way of getting the games to us gamers, as well as stretching their imaginations as far as the marketing process. At the same time I expect the option of piracy to be shut down, or at least reduced to a point of becoming obsolete. Finally, us gamers need to step up and take responsibility, buying our games (new), and embracing the digital services and what they offer us.





All that news

29 01 2012

Hi there everybody. I come to you today with pretty much no news, apart from maybe I should do more with my saturdays other than work and play games ūüėõ So with all that, I’m going to just jump right into things and give you my review of Gears of War 3. Enjoy your read and please comment below ūüôā

Gears of War 3 Review

The Gears of War franchise has established itself on the grounds on great, fast paced, cover based shooting and plenty of ways to paste our enemies across the walls. Gears of war 3 is no different, adding a couple new weapons and modes into the mix, aswell as bringing the lambent into the spotlight of the story, offering us even more types of enemies to get caught on the wrong side of our shotgun.

The story kicks off roughly two years after Jacinto, the last human stronghold was flooded in an attempt to wipe out the locust at the end of Gears of War 2. It would seem that humanity’s plan didn’t work, and the loscust are still the scourge of humanity. The story picks back with Marcus Fenix and his buddies living on a colony cruise ship, and big surprise, it gets invaded by the lambent. At this point, Marcus learns that his father may still be alive, and have important information about the locust. From then on this game is all about finding Marcus’ father, and hoping he has found a way to rid the locust threat once and for all.

The story gives us plenty enough motivation to keep on gunning through the (roughly) 6 hour campaign. Plenty of set piece moments and boss battles keep the pace up and the action high. This is the ending of a trilogy, so expect deaths, on both sides of the battle, and the death scenes were some of the best bits of storytelling the trilogy has seen to date. However, I still found the story to be little more than a reason to just blow things up. This is no reason to fear buying this game, because the rest of the game is really where the game shines through.

Firstly, the addition of an arcade mode to the campaign is a welcome addition. Adding a level of competetive play within the co-op story mode, as all of the players fight together against the locust horde, but at the same time compete for the most kills in an attempt to rack up more points than their buddies. It works great for the most part, however there are times when, if you’re not playing with players you don’t know, there may be moments, like in all games, where selfishness occurs, and opponents will leave you to die. Luckily however, players will respawn 30 after death, so long as one player stays alive, leaving frustration to a minimum.

The multiplayer mode is also now much improved, with dedicated servers working away behind the scenes, the lag is now almost non existent, and matchmaking speeds are hugely improved from the other titles. Not to mention the great new team deathmatch variation, which gives the whole team a pool of respawns to share, meaning that teamwork becomes even more important, if anybody just continues to run into no-mans land and die, then the whole team suffers. This new variation of the classic Gears gameplay is possibly the best so far, and the new best way to play multiplayer in Gears of War 3.

Then there is the new take on horde mode. Horde 2.0 adds fortifications and upgrades to this fantastic mode, and the game that defined the horde mode has now redefined it, making it harder, better and a whole lot more fun than ever before. Not to mention the boss wave on every tenth wave, pitting us against the likes of berserkers and brumaks. This then manages to destroy all your fortifications, and also, all of your plans, sending you and your buddies into panic mode as you scramble around the battlefield trying to wear down those big beasties. With fences, turrets, sentry guns, decoys and silverbacks all at your disposal, there are plenty of ways to keep back the devastating horde invasion. It’s a fresh a wonderful take on the much imitated mode, making it the best around yet again.

Finally, there is the all new beast mode. Beast mode is essentially a horde mode, which puts you in the shoes of the locust, letting you play the part of wretches and tickers, all the way up to bloodmounts and berserkers. This mode can be fantastic fun, giving us even more variation in gameplay, and who would have ever thought that playing kamikaze as a little ticker would ever be so much fun. Unfortunately the downside to this is that it really doesn’t last long enough, with only 12 rounds before the end, the fun ends almost as soon as it begins, with many players only unlocking the higher tier locust to play as right before it finishes, it leads to many wishing they had a bit longer to play around with all those bid baddies we’ve been crushing all these years.

Now with all these modes to play through, plus the ability to play through all of them with at least 3 other players at once, it’s easy to see why there is plenty of bang for your buck here in Gears of War 3. Plus, with an experience and unlock system that runs through the whole game, rewarding you with character and weapon skins, executions and mutators (e.g. infinite ammo and big head mode), there is plenty of reason to see it all here, and give everything a go, and many reasons to keep coming back for more.

That doesn’t mean however that there aren’t disappointments. Although there are many changes to the modes, trying to find the changes made to the core gameplay starts to become a little bit more difficult. Yeah, alright, they have the new mantle kick, allowing you to kick enemies into a stagger if they are in the way of you mantling over a wall, and yeah, they have a couple new weapons like the digger, and sawn-off shotgun. However, other than that, it feels pretty much like playing a very extensive Gears of War 2 DLC pack at times within the game.

You may have noticed however that graphically, this game has certainly had a nice bump up, this game is beautiful, and once again finds itself¬† being one of the most fantastic looking games of the year. Running at a smooth frame rate that never lets up, even when there are dozens of locust baring down on you. In fact, the whole presentation of the game is nothing but stellar, with a great soundtrack, wonderful, varied environments and an overall polish to the whole game, it’s clear to say that plenty of time and effort has been put into making this the best sounding and looking game of the trilogy so far. Also take note that the sound of a mans head being trampled into the ground has never been so satisfyingly crunchy.

So while not having a bunch of brand new content, there is still no denying the awesomeness that is Gears of War 3. With really tight and focused gameplay, some of the finer moments in the story so far and plenty of modes to play, this is definitely Gears at its finest.