After the fantastic “Arrival” DLC, Bioware once again lavish us with some more single player content for Mass Effect 3. Released Tuesday gone (27th November) it’s an extrememly large chunck of DLC, weighing in at just under 2GB. It would have been bigger, but most of the Asari hookers on Omega are now dead. 1,200 MSP is the cost for this latest adventure, which is quite a few credits. So how does it fare? (more…)
Now that Bungie have handed over the Halo reigns to 343 Industries, it was up to them to make a mark on Halo. So, as a stop gap to the new Halo trilogy, 343 Industries have jumped in and given the original Halo game a HD makeover. Fans of the Halo franchise would have dived in on day 1 and purchased the game, but seeing as how I got it as a christmas pressy and i’ve been on my hols for a fortnight, i’ve only just finished it. So is it worth a purchase? (more…)
Well, it’s been a while, but we now have a new Oddworld game to play through. Ok, ok…not actually new, but a HD spit and polish of the 2005 game, originally released on the Xbox. It was a classic game that was criminally overlooked at the time, and not a great deal of people ever played it. Now it’s back, with the team at Just Add Water taking the helm of future Oddworld titles and this HD remake if the first of many more Oddworld titles to come. For those people that played it the game is held in very high regard. So, is it worth downloading, or is it better left as a fond memory? Read on, my friend…. (more…)
It’s another game that i’ll probably never get around to playing (seeing as how I still have the 1st game on my shelf around 10% done), so it’s time for another guest review, again from my good mate Declan. If you missed his other guest review he kindly did for me, you can check out his thoughts on Skyrim by clicking right here. Go and give the guy a follow on Twitter too…..he’s a motivational trainer by trade, but he doesn’t half like his videogames. So over to you Dex. (more…)
That’s right, i’m one of the only people in the gaming world that’s not playing Skyrim. “Why the fuck not?” I hear you cry. Well, because I just don’t have the time. I’m struggling as it is to get content on here and my Youtube channel. I haven’t got the time to piss about with Skyrim, as good as it sounds. I’ll save it for the long summer gaming drought that always happens.
So that being said, all round good egg Declan, known on twitter by his company name Black suit thinking, has written down his take on the game so far, and because i’m nice like that i’m going to stick it up here. His thoughts follow;
“Skyrim is huge. No surprises there, especially if you’ve played Oblivion or Morrowind before that. But the sheer scale of the game makes a full review a little difficult. If I wrote this review a couple of days ago, it would have been substantially different. In the time it took me to finish Halo 2 AND 3, I’ve barely scratched the surface of this bad boy. Still, let me give you an overview of the game as it currently stands.
If you want to know about the plot and wotnot, there’s been plenty written elsewhere for you to Google. I’m going to concentrate on my personal experiences playing the game I’ve been waiting for the last 2 years to get my hands on.
Firstly, the things I love about this game: In a nutshell, the detail. Smoke from the chimney of the fort tells you there’s bad guys at home. Scenery is atmospheric and beautiful – you almost hesitate to jump into a river because you can almost feel the cold. The vocal performances are leagues ahead of anything found on Oblivion (Except for Patrick Stewart’s turn at the start, obviously), and the scandinavian accents are a nice touch. The bad guys stagger when you hit them, some beg for mercy before you remorselessly slot them like Andy McNabb on a monday morning. The plot is rich without being confusing. It all feels very grown up and immersive, but it hasn’t lost any sense of fun. Truly, it’s the little things…
Speaking of fun, that brings me to the combat. This is, to my mind, one of the biggest improvements to the Elder Scrolls franchise, and Bethesda have done an bang up job of overhauling the mechanics. Fighting is fast and dangerous, much more so than in Oblivion. The addition of dual wielding adds a great dimension to brawling, with 2 weapons, weapon/shield, spell/weapon, or spell/spell having a real impact on the outcome of an engagement. The solid AI of your enemies adds to the challenge, with a good variety of fighting and defensive styles to contend with.
But if there’s a crowning achievement in Skyrim, I would have to say it’s the use of Magic. What could have been a clunky and dull aspect to gameplay (As it was, to a large degree, in Oblivion), has been made very cool. Last night, I watched a fight between my nephew’s character and 2 baddy mages and, I swear, it was one of the coolest game experiences I have seen in a very long time on the 360. Familiars being summoned, jets of flames, lighting bolds, shards of ice… Harry Potter can kiss my arse.
The new lock picking methods, weapons creation/forging give the game a fresh feel and the removal of bartering, weapon and armour degradation, and the persuading wheel have streamlined gameplay nicely.
Now to the doubts and dislikes. The first and most major one is with Bethesda themselves. They’re notorious for turning out half finished games – Oblivion being a case in point. I remember searching forums for answers to questions, only to find many more people with the same problems as me – ie, nothing down to poor gameplay but all about glitches in the game. Inventory items disappearing, characters dropping through a wall and becoming trapped… the list goes on. Many actually went back to playing Morrowind. My experience involved a key item in the main quest becoming stuck inside a staircase. Bethesda advised I should “Save often” and revert to those previous saves (Note to Bethesda: Don’t make it MY fault that you can’t build or play test your games correctly!), but nothing to help salvage my almost 100 hours of gameplay which was now for nothing.
Will Skyrim prove to be another problem child? Well, already I’m getting disappearing water and sky, disappearing NPCs, jerky graphics and lag… So I guess we’ll see how things develop as I progress through the game. Personally, I’d go for a slightly smaller game if it meant less frustration and shouting at the TV in the future.
I’ll say it now, I don’t like the new menu system. It’s like Bethesda took inspiration for this (And other things) from Fable, and while it looks slick I find the lack of bumper button toggling a pain when getting through the menus. Oblivion had it right, on that point. On my TV, it’s also difficult to read the text. Similarly, the maps are confusing and often unclear, and the some of the towns are a nightmare to navigate. The dungeons are HUGE (This is a good thing) but, again thanks to crap maps, difficult to navigate and sometimes under-populated.
There’s also an awful lot of nothing in Skyrim. It looks great, but there’s a couple of towns that offer little to nothing by way of quests. Maybe this will change as I level up, but at least in Oblivion you knew there was something to come later. It would also appear that developers took the most annoying terrain from Oblivion – mountains – and made up about half of the Skyrim map out of them.
I could go on, but to some up in a soundbite I’d call Skyrim a flawed masterpiece. Not heavily flawed, but shy of perfect none-the-less. My gripes are many but minor for the most part, and for a game of this scale that’s an achievement, (The aforementioned Fable gets a lot more wrong in a lot less of a game), and the pleasures far outweigh the pains at time of this writing.
So, like I said. This game is HUGE! Right now, I’d say buy it. I’d shout it in your face, in fact. But perhaps another review in 6 months time is in order…”
Great review there. I’m almost tempted. But i’ll save it for now.
So thanks to declan for that. He’s a motivational trainer, a real life Jedi knight, and he’s a gamer too. You can follow him on twitter by clicking right about here. DO IT NOW!
Well, it’s November and the yearly installment of arguably the biggest name in the gaming world is upon us. No, i’m not talking about this, i’m talking about the sales mammoth that is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. After all the bollocks surrounding Infinity Ward after the release of the second game in the series, we are thrust into the continuing story of Captain Price, his epic moustache and World War 3. It’s been as hotly anticipated as almost any other game on the planet. But what do I think? Continue reading my friend. (more…)
Uncharted 3 started off in 2007. Developed by Naughty Dog, the game recieved great reviews and quickly garnered a huge fan base. The sequel, released in 2009, took everything that made the first game great, added some new features, including multiplayer, and went on to gather up some stellar reviews (including some really high metacritic scores). And now the third game in the series has just been released. Me, as well as a billion other people have been waiting for this game since the second, so is it any good? (more…)
Well, after months and months of hype, Battlefield 3 is finally with us. A sequel to the 2005 hit game, it’s what EA have been touting as a COD killer, and it’s finally in our grubby mitts. I’m slightly later to the party with this game, it was released last Friday, but here are my thoughts. Read on my friends….. (more…)
Yeah, you all know what i’m talking about. That sound that used to greet us all upon walking into almost any arcade establishment several years ago. Daytona, as well as Sega Rally and ridge Racer, almost defined the arcade racer as we know it. Loud, brash and more importantly, more fun than a life-sized jelly model of Kelly Brook. It’s now available on XBLA and Playstation network. So has it been worth the wait? Read on…. (more…)
Well i’m slightly late to the party with this review, but fuck it, you may not be interested in this game. And why should you be? Unless you ever played it on the Sega Saturn, originally released in 1996, you would have no idea that it’s one of the best 2D side scrolling beat-em-ups that’s ever been made. “It can’t be that good?” I hear you cry……well, you’re very wrong. Read on my friends. (more…)