Thursday, 18 August 2011

Driver: San Francisco Demo Impressions

I've never played a Driver game before, so entering Driver: San Fran's demo, I didn't know what to expect. I am glad to say, that I am pleasantly surprised. The demo was packed with innovative ideas. The shifting being one, but what I was really impressed with the mission, Team Colours; Tanner has shifted to the start of a race with a dad and a daughter and your objective is to come first and second ,shifting between the two. I thought this was a fantastic idea and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The game is considerably funny as well. The conversations between the people Tanner shift into are hilarious.

On the downside, the handling takes a while to get used to. Apart from that though, I really enjoyed the demo, and I hope the game is as good as it suggests.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Stereotypes: Goofy Sidekicks

I was recently reading Hulk: Gray, and while reading I realised how goofy and annoying Rick is. Then I thought about it a little more and it came to my attention that there are a lot of annoying side kicks to tone down on the gritty main character. Zeke from InFamous is another good example to this. While Cole is very gruff and angry, it seems like Zeke has been put in to tone down on that manliness.

So I ask, why does it have to be like this? Why can't we have two bad ass's together? It seems like developers/creators are scared to change the rhythm of this.

The Avengers does kinda go against everything I've just said, but I think my point is still valid. I think companies and developers need to mix it up a bit. Much like Media in general really.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Portal 2 Review

Even before Portal 2 was released, it had a lot going for it. A much loved original, ground breaking game mechanics and of course, Valve. Probably the best game developers out there at the moment.

So when I started Portal 2, I was excited, I mean very excited! So for Valve to pull off the one of the best starts to a game was a treat.

You play Chell, the same test subject from the original game. You get awoken by a plucky spherical robot called Wheatley (Voiced by Stephen Merchant) in what looks like a hotel room. I won't ruin what happens next for you, but trust me, it's amazing.

He then glides you through a couple of easy test chambers. You then reach the Glados' chamber. By accident, Wheatley, the moron he is, wakes her up. She then makes you feel guilty for what you did at the end of the original and you find out that Aperture is in a wreck.

It's then that the story really picks up, although it does seem very samey. I was beginning to think this game would be a let down. Oh, how I was wrong! You, somehow end up in old Aperture. Following the guide of Cave Johnson (voiced by J.K Simmons). It's here that Portal 2 comes into it's self. We are taught to use repulsion gels,acceleration gels, faith plates and excursion tunnels. These really make Portal 2 seem like it's own game and not just a cash in.

The puzzles in this the main story aren't as hard as they were in the original, but they're far from easy and with the new additions stated above, it really feels new and fresh. Valve really have a way of teaching you how to use something without making you feel stupid but you still know exactly what to do.

The single player clocks in at about 8 hours, but it's definitely quality over quantity. You will love every single minute of it.

Portal 2 also comes with a brilliant co-op mode, which is a brighter look at the world of Aperture. You (and a friend) play as P-Body and Atlas. Two very quirky robots, that don't really take anything seriously (which frustrates Glados' immensely). The puzzles in this are certainly much harder than the single player but once you've done it you feel fantastic. You and whoever you are playing it with , will really feel like a team. It's also great to see what happened to Aperture after the events of the single player.

Portal 2 is a masterpiece in both single player and co-op. It's funny, intelligent and feel good. Valve have pulled it out of the bag once again. If the (gaming) world was perfect, all sequels would be like this!


Friday, 15 April 2011

de Blob 2 Review

In 1984, Bonnie Tyler sung “Holding Out For A Hero” and I can't help but think, that when she sung this she had Blob in mind.

The story of de Blob 2 carries on from the first where Blob is resting on a beach after the heroics of the first game. Does he deserve the rest? Yes! Does he get it? No! You find out that Comrade Black is back to his old tricks and is taking the colour out of the whole of Prisma city.

The gameplay is very much the same as the first with a few differences. There are more power ups from the first such as; Wrecking Ball,Rainbow,Re-Gen and Graviton Bomb. The gameplay is also broken up with very clever and enjoyable 2D side scrolling levels.

The soundtrack in this game is amazing. As you are 'redecorating', some awesome jazz and funk tunes are churned out. You find yourself really enjoying the music without actually realising. It's another fantastic addition, that makes the game more enjoyable.

The characters as you go through the story get better and better. You start of with your trusty companion, Pinky (Who you can also play as in co-op). Who tells you what to do and knows exactly what Comrade Black is doing (Don't ask me how). As you get through the story however, you meet Arty,Bif,Prof and Zip. You form a group and start a congregation against the inkies and Comrade Black himself.

The originality and simplicity of this game is really what makes it stand out for me. It's so easy to play, but never gets boring because you've played nothing like it (Except the original!). It's now easier to play on the Ps3, especially due to the fact that there isn't shake to jump now!

The gameplay can be to simplistic at times, but if you play with a time limit, the game becomes 2X harder. Trying to finish the mission with a minute left makes the game tense. Once I finished a mission with a few seconds to go. My hands were as sweaty as ever!

All in all, A gorgeous platformer with some groovin' tunes. Easy and natural controls unique and fun levels, knowing that you are transforming the world by far is the most appealing. The game really makes you feel like a hero! The cut scenes are an absolute riot and Blob is a fantastic character.


Saturday, 22 January 2011

Weekly News

Well, there goes another week, and what a busy week it was. We found out details about the 3ds. Also, Anne Hathaway will star in The Dark Knight Rises and Tom Hardy has been confirmed to be Bane in the film. We saw shots of Andrew Garfield in the Spidey Suit and there were three game releases this week; Mass Effect 2 (PS3), Little Big Planet (PS3) and Mindjack (Multiformat).

On Monday, we saw a slightly pissed off Andrew Garfield in an awesome (well, better than the first movie) Spider-man Suit without the mask unfortunately. The suit, to me, looked very much like the suit from the Amazing Spider-man era. Also, the suit has web shooters! Which shows that Marc Webb really does want to stick to the comics!

On Wednesday Nintendo held two conferences, one in Amsterdam and one in New York. I was most interested on the one in Amsterdam to find out the juicy European details. So we find out about the release date (March 25th) and the Launch games that will be available, and just as I though they were getting to the price.... Bam! Conference over! Luckily we have the retail stores giving it prices (around £230). This in my opinion is far too expensive for a hand held console. As good as it might be, it can't be cheaper than Nintendo's home console surely? Sure it has amazing features and great upcoming games but it is a lot of money to splash out when you could be getting some of the fantastic games coming out around then. Don't get me wrong, I will definitely be getting one (mainly because my birthday is around there) but I just wish it would drop in price!

Next, to the news on The Dark Knight Rises which was announced on Thursday. It was revealed that Anne Hathaway will be playing the role of Selina Kyle(Notice that Chrisopher Nolan didn't just come out and say Catwoman). I'm not really sure about this choice as i've never seen her in anything and looking through her film's this looks this type of role Is pretty new to her. Saying that though, no one thought Heath Ledger would be a good Joker at first but he certainly proved us wrong. I have full trust in Christopher Nolan and think he can make this work. The other big news from this film was that Tom Hardy, already scheduled to be playing an unknown character, is now playing the villain Bane. This, in my opinion is perfect! Tom Hardy is a great actor and will make a perfect Bane.

And on Friday, Two release dates were confirmed; Mortal Kombat (April 18th) and Duke Nukem:Forever (May 6th) No really! Along with a trailer which is so awesome. Everyone needs to check it out! There was also Three game releases on Friday; Little Big Planet 2,Mass Effect 2 and Mindjack. I picked up Little Big Planet 2. With what I have played so far it's a fantastic game, I will Review it in the coming weeks. Also Killzone 4 was announced..... Hang on is the third one even out yet?

Then on to a relaxing weekend of Little Big Planet,Uncharted 2 and the internet!

Uncharted Drake's Fortune Review

You know how it is, you get a new console for Christmas and you want to try out some of the exclusives to see what you've been missing out on. The thing is, when I put uncharted in, there was so much hype for it I didn't know if I was going to be that blown away. At first I wasn't but Uncharted gets stronger and stronger in every department until the big bang at the end!

The gameplay in Uncharted is solid with moments of brilliance. The guns feel powerful and are good and easy to use. Although their isn't a big variety in guns. It can be a problem moving from cover to cover but that is very rarely. The climbing is fantastic albeit a little unrealistic. The climbing works so well because it is so easy and looks awesome. Who doesn't want to look awesome while doing literally nothing? The platforming sections really work as well but the game is from the people who made Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter!

Uncharted Characters are fantastic, although there are only three main ones (Nathan,Elena and Sully). Nathan Drake is a adventurer, he is also a relation of Francis Drake. Elena is a reported/camera woman and Sully, well I don't really know what Sully does. The dialogue between these characters is very funny (considering the situation there in) but also works when the cut scene is emotional.

The setting looks beautiful and the place Is an awesome place to have this kind of story going on. What makes it even better is, by the time you have finished the game you actually feel like you have explored the entire island.

I find the graphics to look very waxy on the characters but they're really impressive all around you. All of this makes for a great gaming experience, but a few niggles are holding it back from greatness.

The cover system is one of these little niggles. It is a pretty average cover system to be honest but it certainly isn't game breaking. At times though, I found myself sticking to the wall for a couple of seconds. This broke up the flow of the game.Also, the story didn't particularly flow very well on the whole. I felt myself really getting into the game, only to get it stopped for doing a ridiculously easy puzzle. I didn't feel there was much point of that, either make them harder or leave them out.

It also, wasn't very long. The ending showcase came about very quickly. Saying that though I didn't ruin the experience for me and i'm glad I had the chance to play this gem.