On impulse buying and how fast I can change my mind.

In the mood for some retail therapy this afternoon, so I went into town to look at games. I was really feeling like shooting people in the face and committing other unrelated crimes so I was pretty dead set on GTA IV, it's pretty cheap second hand and I think I can justify that to myself. So I get into the game store, and I see the 2 for £30 section, I go over to take a look and the two games I see straight away, lined up right next to each other are Skate 3 and Deadly Premonition. I didn't really think about what I was doing and picked them up, the next thing I knew I was walking home, left to think about what the hell I had just done.

I've been meaning to get skate 3 for a while, I loved the first two and I could go for a third dip in. It makes sense for me to get that. Now, Deadly Premonition. Kind of scratching my head about this one. After much deliberation trying to justify my purchase, the best reason I can find is for when Giant Bomb to sign it on the world tour. It was this or Kane and Lynch, and I'd rather support SWERY. I don't know if I'm even going to play it, should I? I never watched the Endurance run so it would all be new.

So... I have 2 new games, 4 cans of Monster and a load of budweiser in the fridge and some leftover pizza. I think tonight is going to be one of those nights when I act like a massive nerd instead of going out and having a life. Meanwhile, my revision for the exam I have on Wednesday is going amazingly

Nintendo, I love you and I want you to come back. (Venting)

So ever since the Wii's announcement I've never take it seriously. You offer me a gimmicky control system with aging graphics and no games that I want to play then I'm going to walk away. Sure, my sister ended up buying a Wii and for a couple of hours Wii sports was really fun. But I didn't give you any of my money. Aside from the aforementioned Wii Sports experience, the only thing I have used the wii in my house for is playing old Gamecube games. (Burnout 2 folks, greatest game ever made.)

So this brings me to the purpose of this blog. If you, nintendo, can offer me relatively competitive graphics and good third party support, like what made me love my Gamecube, then we're talking. I loved the Gamecube. Sure, I was 11 when I got it so nostalgia undoutedly had an effect. But it was the plucky underdog. For most of it's life it got it's fair share of the best third party games (again, Burnout 2, greatest game ever) and it had kick ass first party titles to boot (Rogue Squadron 2  <3). Sure, it wasn't on the same level as the PS2 but it didn't have to be, just like your car doesn't need to be able to do 0-60 in 5 seconds or less for you to still be able to love it. The gamecube had heart, and it was cute. It had a handle!

The wii on the other hand feels like a marketing ploy, designed to be advertised, bought and not supported. It's bland and boring, it doesn't even come in purple. While some, if not most of the first party games seem to be up to scratch, it just seems like they are there because Nintendo have these big studios and they can't sit around twiddling their thumbs for 5 years. The third party games need no introduction, 99% of it is a shit show. Anyone up for a game of The Conduit? Didn't think so. Nintendo's machine doesn't have soul, they've given up the fight and turned in a different direction whilst still pretending to be in the other race, and the poor bastards (Read: Super Mario Galaxy) are punching above their weight but can't deliver a knockout because of not enough pixels...

So here's the deal Nintendo, you set up the Wii 2 with the classic controller packaged in with the wii mote, visuals on par with what the 360 and PS3 are packing and start shipping decent 3rd party software, like the 360 and the PS3 and we'll be talking. I don't like Microsoft and Sony, they are faceless corporations that I have no care for, but you are my old childhood friend that has been lost. 

I feel like an idiot saying this considering the wii has been by far their most successful console, but please Nintendo, I love you and I want you back. You can convince people like me to buy your console while keeping the Oprah audience, you just need to show you can put up a good fight every now and then. I can dream about the headline now:  "Burnout 6, coming to Wii 2". Make it happen. 


4 things that will make Forza 4 great.

This week, I finally got round to finishing off Forza 3 and getting my S Rank. After 145 hours of driving, 86 hours spent in menus and 31 hours editing designs, I think it's safe to say I've had my moneys worth with this peach of a racer. While I was happy to get my 1000, part of me was sad. Then I remembered that Forza 4 is coming out later this year and now, I'm really excited about what might be on the way. 
Whatever Forza 4 will have in it, I will preorder the limited edition. That's just what I do. But, if they want to justify their 3rd game in 4 years to the video game buying public, then they will need to step it up again, probably more than they did in the last game. There can't be much more room for graphical improvements on the 360 in the autumn of it's life, so the things that will make Forza 4 great need to be content related. Of course, we expect new cars and tracks, but what I really want to see is the following 4 things. 

  • Off Road racing
  • Night racing
  • Weather effects.
  • More than 8 cars on track

Now, official information about Forza 4 is slim, pretty much all of it comes from this teaser trailer: 
When this came out I was super excited being the massive fanboy I am, but unlike a lot of teaser trailers this actually has some valuable information in it. Firstly, it shows night/day changing. This ticks off one of the requirements, brilliant. We also see some off road racing, again, brilliant. Two of my four done, almost dead certs that both will be in the game. I don't really have much to say, Turn 10 have delivered consistently brilliant racing games and when they show things like this you know if anyone can incorporate these things well it will be them. 
I have found nothing to suggest there will be Weather effects, yet. I'm not holding my breath, it is a very big thing to add and takes a lot of work. The only glimmer of hope I can see is the flash of a car sliding on a road in the snow in the teaser, but I'm not taking anything for granted. What makes me think this might happen is that GT5 put it in there, and this might be the sort of thing you really want to say you can do. 
I am pretty proud of my Sherlock Holmes on the last one, because I Sherlock Holmesed that shit and because it's a really cool thing I think would make the game way better. Here is a video of the Kinect demo Turn 10 did at E3 last year: 
Now, in the first demo you can clearly see there are many cars on track at once. I can't find the video where this quote comes from exactly, but whilst playing this demo a journo mentioned the more cars on track and Dan Greenawalt, the awkward designer in the video, talks about their new tech which allows them to do this. I know the cars in the demo aren't really racing, but the fact they had this running at 60FPS last E3 is very promising and I'm sure there will be more than 8 cars on track at once in Forza 4. 
Also not the new UI style of the Kinect demo, I would expect that's something like Forza 4 will end up looking. 
So there you go, 4 things that will make Forza 4 great, all are very attainable wishes and 3 of which I believe are all but certainly going to be in the final game. I can't put any degree of certainty into the Weather, but I would really like to see that in the game. I'm getting hyped, a long 7 or so months ahead!

I miss blades...

 Remember when the xbox dashboard used to look like this? 

Those were the days. We didn't have Party chat or anything fancy like that, what we had was blades and I loved 'em. Everything you would ever want was just a few hits of the bumper buttons away. I would pay money to be able to change my dashboard back to this. Playing Gears 1 just isn't the same with the new dashboard, and with another update coming soon it will be even weirder. 
Anybody feel the same way? or am I just a nostalgic fool?    

I succumbed and installed Steam, first thoughts

So for a few years now I have had this vendetta against steam, I always thought it was unnecessary and wasted my time and space. I installed it for the first time in about 18 months yesterday and I'm not completely sold... yet. I signed up for the free MW2 weekend, I started preloading it last night and when it got to around 50% I went to bed, turning off my computer. I come on this morning and notice it's started the download again from 0% and it's now 11GB instead of 4... well thanks for that. Then I launch a steam game and it took much longer for the game to start than the none steam version  that I have been using for a long time. Game performance is no different however but this way I get to play online, I'm willing to put up with Steam for online racing.  
So I checked out the store, there are a lot of games that I'd like to play but they are much more expensive than I can get the solid copies elsewhere. Do people really pay for the convenience? I mean seriously, £40 for MW2?


People complain about the game and yet still play it?

I'm amazed at how many people that complain abot MW2 still play it, I see Youtube videos where people keep talking about what they should change to make it better, but if they are still playing then IW don't care surely? There was a petition started by some youtuber to get snipers to always be one shot kills, apart from this being a balancing issue they wouldn't change if they really wanted to make IW sit up and listen isn't the best way to stop playing? As long as it's still the most played game then they aren't going to do anything about it. 
I'm also amazed at how entitled people feel to having a game patched, it doesn't say anywhere on the game that you have to like it, or that they have to make it so you do. If it's a game breaking issue such as matchmaking issues or glitches then they will get patched, but asking them to edit the power of guns, or the health you have is ignoring all the hours I'm sure they did balancing the game. IW don't owe the owners of MW2 anything yet people seem to think that they do.


Epic nostalgia

A week ago I installed Need for Speed Underground, (being a child of the early 90's I was the perfect target audience for the game, and it was one of the first I played on my own gaming PC(Nvidia 5200 FTW)) I played it for about 3 hours until the early hours of the morning, it was one of the best gaming experiences I've had in months. The game itself is horrible, it has cheesy cutscenes that are so bad they are good, the controls are janky and the environments all look the same, but damn, I couldn't stop playing. 
Tonight I installed Jazz Jackrabbit 2, and played through 3/4 of the game in one sitting. The music, level design and weapons are just amazing. If there was one game I'd like to see on the XBLA it's that. It's kind of like Sonic, Mario and Mega Man all rolled into one. 
So in the last week I have discovered the glorious world of nostalgia, and if you haven't played that classic game from your childhood recently go do it, it brings back great memories. 



Over the last 2 and a half years of owning a 360 I have bought 3 downloadable games: Geometry Wars, Portal, and Ikaruga. Geometry wars and Ikaruga because they were cheap, and Portal because, well, It's Portal. None of the other XBLA games really attract me, with the Exception of Shadow Complex which I'll get soon.