Thursday, 30 December 2010

Ups and Downs of 2010

The time has finally come to look back upon the previous year as we step into 2011.

It's been a big one for video games, The Terminator himself decided he had an issue with video games, a Swedish bearded man hit the jackpot with a strangely addictive pixel game, we all adventured to a desolate New Vegas with Zachary Levi and Felicia Day, ran a kingdom with the help of Stephen Fry and Simon Pegg, we even assassinated a Cuban Prime minister - And of course you are now the controller.

But what were your fondest memories? Perhaps it was the rise of the Western RPG? The announcement of a new Elder Scrolls? How about the addition of Keyboards to the Rock Band series?

Personally my GOTY was Mass Effect 2; With an amazing story line, immense gameplay, some of the most indepth characters I've ever felt attached to and some brilliant DLC to boot it easily sums up what I love in the video game industry.

My developer of the year is the studio that created one of the best, If not the best MMORPG ever; Blizzard.

The recent expansion Cataclysm as well the continued support that their entire studio and team provide their user base gets them recognised in my books.

As for the biggest flop of the year, it's going to have to be Real Time World's All Points Bulletin.

Whilst I enjoyed the game for it's amazing customisation options, it's sprawling urban setting and it's quirky little features such as ram raiding, radios and Gangs; It was terribly balanced and never really got it's footing, for me that was £40+ down the drain.

So guys; How about it - Your GOTY, Developer of the year and Flop of the year, reply in the comment section below

And here's to a good 2011.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Mass Effect 2 DLC for 200MSP!

All ME2 DLC is at 200MSP each, the sale ends at midnight tonight! It's also available in the US and EU (Not sure about any where else, but try it)

So that means you can get Lair of the Shadow Broker, Kasumi and Overlord pack for 600MSP all together, usually these packs retail at either 800MSP each or 560MSP each.

The other DLC available is either already cheaper than 200MSP or comes with the game, well worth picking up as they're all highly rated DLC packs.

Lair of the Shadow Broker is not compatible with Czech, Hungarian or Polish versions of Mass Effect 2.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

DA:2 homosexual relationships are still A-OKAY

David Gaider recently revealed on the DA2 forums that DA2 would still contain the option to have sexual intercourse/relations with a character of the same gender.

This sparked controversy from several right wing news stations when DA:O originally featured homosexual relations, between either Zevran the overly camp Elf, or Leliana the religious Bard that was willing to experiment.

For those unaware of David Gaider; He is not only an active member of the Bioware forums, he's also the Senior Writer at Bioware's Edmonton Studio.

In reply to a post about bigotry and homophobia that goes around on the forums as well as the decision to disallow male gay relationships in ME2 and only allowing female Shepard to sort of try it on with Jack, but not really.

David had this to say:

So long as romances of any kind are optional and need to be actively pursued by the player in order to be experienced, they simply don't have a leg to stand on. Advocating that nobody should be able to have content you don't intend to personally use is largely pointless-- outside of a vague notion that such efforts should go towards other things, instead. Personally, it's not a lot of effort to include them. The resources we can devote to a minority of players isn't great, but I imagine to those players it's quite worth it... and I would hope that some folks could be sensitive enough to be happy for those players, at the very least out of the selfish notion that they may one day end up in the minority of some content issue and receive the same consideration if nothing else.

Maybe with DADT finally being repealed Shephard can have all the homosexual sex s/he consents to whilst serving, but for now players will simply have to deal with DA:2's open mind on the subject.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Indie iDevice sale

As of today the Indie Sale has commenced for the Apple iPod/iPhone, with 1/3 of the profits going to Child's Play charity.

The sale will be going on until the 31st of this month and it includes six individual titles; Canabalt, Eliss, Spider, Solipskier, Osmos and Drop7, these titles will all cost 99cents or 59p.

Some immense savings here and it's for a good cause, so head on over to the iTunes store and pick them up

Not only are they offering these great iDevice games for a cheap price, but you can also pick up some free wallpapers and lock screens too, so head over to the site, tweet about it, facebook it - What ever, just try and do something for the cause.

Here's some more information on Child's Play -

Monday, 20 December 2010

Secret Of Mana iPhone/iPod Touch

Many of you know I love the Secret Of Mana series, so earlier this year when I heard of an iPod Touch/iPhone remake I was over joyed, well finally SquareEnix have given us a release date.


Sort of short notice, but I'm still as excited as ever, currently not aware of the price but it will allegedly be launching in your area at midnight tonight.

UPDATE: The video has the prices displayed at the end; $8.99, £5.99 and €6.99

MikuMikuDance - Kinect

It was practically a dot on the cards that Kinect would be used for modded software and more entertainment based programs for the PC; But after Microsoft shot down the idea of any sex games appearing on Kinect (Or atleast on the Xbox360) titles such as this one here might some day make it.

Here we have an animated Miku from the famous Vocaloid programme dancing using the Kinect hardware, whilst there is some animation glitches over all it's impressive.

I've no doubt there will be more great programmes out there soon similar to this, so keep your eye on the Indie market.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Nostalgia review - Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

To me Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (FF:CC) is similar to a deceased relative, I loved them so, so much, but they're gone now and I can hope and wait that one day the technology to bring them back will be available, but we all secretly doubt it.

A game that was so beautiful for it's generation and could have been so ground breaking went unnoticed some how.

FF:CC stars you as a member of a caravan that annually leaves it's small humble village to collect Crystal drops from local dungeons that will fuel the crystal residing in their previously mentioned cosy town and stop the miasma from invading and killing everyone.

It sports some of the most visually amazing graphics for it's generation, especially the Gamecube and has a sound track crafted by the heavens and some of the most creative multiplayer going - So what went wrong? First off to play this game you required.

A. Gamecube (Duh)

B. The Game (Also; Duh)

C. Gameboy advance

D. Gameboy advance link cable

E. Atleast one friend (Not entirely necessary, but pretty key If you wanted to get the most from this game)

Secondly a lot of the dungeons in game were very repetitive, first time round they were charming, second time round they were still charming and were spaced out enough between the first run that it didn't feel too repetitive, third time round it had already begun grinding on you, all those charming features had now left the atmosphere and it was merely a matter of collecting what you needed and enjoying the parade at the end of the year, which might I add, was always as lovely.

The actual game play was easy to pick up and easy to master, it relied on setting items that you could hot key using the L or R button, this would include magic, defend and attack; Tap A to do a simple attack, or hold down for a charge shot which worked with both magic and attack.

Travelling from each level was done on an over world map with a simple interface that allowed you to add new characters to the party or even to export your character onto a memory card so that you could join someone else's world.

Dungeons would range from underground caverns, to mansions and even to cities that had been swallowed by the dreaded miasma, each with their own area that you'd have to battle through to reach the boss, whether that was achieved through puzzle solving to merely slaughtering all that came towards you was entirely dependant on the level you'd decided to travel to. After trekking through a level you'd fight a boss and depending on your success, you'd gain a drop of crystal juice (Can I use that term?) which would enter your chalice and take you one step closer to helping your village survive another year.

Character customisation was quite basic but charming none the less, to start with you could pick your character's race ranging from two human like species with the Selkies being more at home with nature than the Clavats who were your basic humans - To the Yukes who were lanky magic users with giant helmets on and Lilties who are small warriors and knights that used spears.

Next up you had the choice of four different styles for each race, these were fairly basic and were features such as hair, hats, colours, clothes; After this step you were ready to choose your families profession, this would help later on in the game when you came back to town with materials, jobs such as Blacksmith, Tailor and Alchemist would grant you the ability to forge new gear, where as jobs such as Fisherman, Farmer and Rancher would get you specific materials, this decision also changes what your family sends you whilst you're out on the road.

When I recently tried to get back into FF:CC I found it hard, in fact, I found it terrible, it's aged terribly especially in a world where grinding dungeons, multiplayer and basic character customisation is something that most MMO's now base their entire franchise off of, but something most MMOs will never have over FF:CC? Atmosphere.

This game built atmosphere like no other, maybe my mind was merely younger back then, but I've never been so involved in a game before, I strived to save my town each year, I loved those little festivals, I grew close to the other characters; My family would send me letters after each journey with little gifts ins or ask me how I was, it was so much fun, so personal - And with all four players you could sit and read your letters through your GBA and just chat about them, we'd laugh and send little presents we'd found on our journeys back to our persistent mothers, or our proud fathers, needless to say, this game really captured my imagination as a 13 year old fan of RPGs.

I really loved the random events that would spring up whilst you were out on the road, random little things like traders or the mysterious "Black Knight" all adding more charm to a well developed Universe that had only been established in this one game, Square really out did themselves with their atmospheric creation, the music, the voice acting, the visuals - It was so right!

I can only hope that Square see the error in their mistakes and bring the FF:CC franchise back to it's glorious origins as the newer titles are doing it no favours what so ever.

9 / 10

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Fallout New Vegas' first DLC trailer released

Titled 'Dead Money' this trailer seems to show a sort of Saw-esque concept in which you'll have to work with three other NPCs to steal the contents of the Sierra Madre's vault, the catch is, Richard Nixon* a mysterious stranger has put an explosive collar around your neck, If you try to run, you die.

It seems very story heavy which I for one look forward to; Dead Money receives it's Xbox 360 launch on the 21st of December, no word on price as of yet nor any word of a PS3 or PC launch date.

*He does sound like Richard Nixon doesn't he? I'm not imaging things am I?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Humble Bundle #2

It's that time of year again; The Humble Bundle 2 is upon us, this time round it's Braid, Cortex Commando, Machinarium, Osmos and Revenge of the Titans.

All money proceeds go to the Child's Play foundation and you can pay what you want (Bear in mind that under $0.30 means that have to pay for the transaction fee, so you're essentially stealing from them)

Altogether these games would cost $85 and they're compatible on Linux, Windows and Mac, also DRM free.

So, If you've got a couple of dollars laying around, just drop them into this, it's a good cause and you get five nice Indie games out of it.

Also; Cortex Commando and Revenge of the Titans are still under development, and If you buy now, you're eligible for all future updates free.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

PETA are at it again

Veggie enthusiasts PETA are at it again, this time taking a dig at the brilliant Meat Boy game.

I don't think there's a group out there that PETA hasn't tried to piss off, as a regular user of Tumblr I'm privileged in the fact that I get to see most of PETA's ad campaigns that don't quite add up.

When it comes to PETA Vs Video games, they like to make their own games, essentially a mock up version of the title in question, Cooking Mama received scrutiny from PETA previously and now Meat Boy has gotten it's very own PETA safe version.

Ladies and Gents may I introduce to you - Tofu Boy.

Yes, it's as stupid as it sounds.

And yes that's a terrible illustration.

Previously PETA has pulled stunts such as;

As well as a series of naked women, with slogans written all over them (It's an ad campaign that they practically roll with every time)

Whilst I am all for fair treatment of animals, I won't fully go into my political/personal opinions on these matters, but terrible clone versions of games won't do the world any good.

Here's a link; It's more like the original flash version of Meat Boy.

Leave your opinions and comments in the comment box below