darrenjsmooney

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Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations – The Review

With its standard cocktail of revolutionary gameplay, intricate story telling, historical discipline and political subterfuge, Assassin’s Creed returns. It has only been a couple of years since Brotherhood, the previous title, concluded (*storyline wise anyway, these games were released no more than one year apart) and Ezio Auditore da Firenze has spent that time on a conquest to rediscover the teachings of his famed ancestor, the legendary Altair. The turmoil and conflict that has been strewn throughout Ezio’s life looks to have taken its toll. But rather than douse his spirit, Ezio is more determined and impassioned than ever. The start of the game sees Ezio arrive at Masyaf, the original home of the prestigious Order of Assassins, where Altair catapulted this ancient creed into greatness. Its walls hide a fabled library said to contain unprecedented knowledge and powerful secrets. Read more…

Minecraft- Finally Complete!

Minecraft is finally out of beta!

This little sandbox Indie game, was developed by Mojang, a small Swedish Company that was established by the institution himself, Markus “Notch” Persson. Minecraft is primarily Notch’s brain child, though under the umbrella of Mojang, he chose to hire Jens “Jeb” Bergensten (programmer), Daniel Kaplan (the “business guy”), Jakob Porser whose role sees him working mainly on the controversially named “Scrolls” (that’s not because it’s a curse in swedish), and Markus “Junkboy” Toivonen (the game’s artist); all of whom have had a hand in the development of Minecraft. It was released in 2009 in its alpha stage and moved into the beta testing phase on 20th December 2010. Minecraft has been available for purchase for over 2 years, at least it has been available in its unfinished form with frequent bug fixes and feature updates – until now, so it really needs no introduction, but for the uninitiated I’m going to write one anyway! ūüėÄ Read more…

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – The Review

It has been 5 years since the previous Elder Scrolls title, Oblivion, landed on to the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. But in the world of Tamriel, 200 years have passed since the region saw the horizon scourged by the appearance of the Oblivion gates, bridging the gap between reality and the realm of Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedric Prince of destruction. Harmony was eventually restored and now Tamriel faces a new threat.

The province of Skyrim is in the clutches of civil disparity. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered and the Nordic locals are divided on the future of the Empire. Wrought with instability, the province is plagued further by the return of the fearsome Dragons, who had inexplicably vanished in the distant past. The safety of Skyrim and the whole of Tamriel seems to be at stake as civilisation, as it has come to be known, stands on the brink, from which they can either stand their ground in the midst of unequivocal adversity or catalyse the fall of humanity and the rise of the age of the Dragon. Someone needs to step up and offer hope to the kingdom, that someone is an anonymous prisoner, that some one is you. Read more…

The Triumphs Of Oblivion.

Skyrim is due out this Friday, so i thought I’d weigh in on this gem of a game!

With the impending release of the latest title in the series, The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion is an extremely difficult sell, even in spite of Skyrim. With dated visuals, awkward combat and unrealistic player-to-NPC interaction, amongst other issues, the game seems to have little chance of standing up to the titans of today. Released in 2006, it rubbed shoulders with the likes of Gears of War, Call of Duty 3, LOTR: The Battle for Middle-Earth II and, just as important, in my opinion, Kingdom Hearts 2. The game was developed by Bethesda Game Studio off the back of an extremely popular Morrowind which was released in 2002 on the original Xbox to critical acclaim, with Oblivion being released on a next-gen console, Bethesda had their work cut out to create a game that would surpass their previous. Read more…

Space is the breath of art.

I thought this would be worth a mention….

The constellations have been gazed upon in wonder since the dawn of civilisation. We are taught their names¬†and how to spot them from a fairly early age. Looking out your window now (if its night-time there that¬†is) you could most probably instantly recognise constellations such as the Great Bear (Ursa Major), Orion and perhaps the Big Dipper, but few will be able to spot the Milky Way. Our galaxy is by far one of the most profound and interesting things you can see in the night sky. You are looking at hundreds of billions of stars all suspended in a single plane circling a lone black hole. The galaxy comprises of a concentration of stars separated by a band of dark interstellar clouds called ‘the Great Rift’. Read more…

Post #0

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening!

This is my very first post, not only on this particular blog, but any blog- ever! So it’ll be fairly short and perhaps not brilliant¬†(but I’m not making excuses!)

I’ve started this blog for the following reasons:

1. I was curious

The internet seems to be saturated by people, I guess now much like myself, who simply want to get their views and ideas onto a stage elevated beyond what is generally¬†practically achievable outside the realm of the world wide¬†web. The advent of sites like youtube.com and twitter.com -other sites are available (though I would recommend these ;))- has facilitated the ability to rapidly distribute your ideas and thoughts in the form of a “vlog” or a 140 character sound bite, respectively. I don’t really want to express my thoughts on the psychology involved¬†because this is just an introduction (plus I can’t be bothered to gather my ideas just now) but I appreciate the satisfaction of actually having your ideas, opinions and ramblings heard, watched or read by another person(s -hopefully :D)

2.I enjoy to write

I’ve always oddly enjoyed writing essays. It contributes largely¬†to the reason why¬†I chose to do a History A-Level. Much like finishing a complex maths¬†solution (aaah,¬†you should expect some posts on that subject [in retrospect, not so much])¬†there’s¬†a great deal of pride when looking at the final article of a fully realised and¬†clearly articulated argument or what ever the purpose of the text¬†(even if i¬†do say so myself!). I think a lot of my enjoyment came from the fact I had¬†learnt to structure essays in such a way that¬†I¬†could take tangents and weave them through the essay. In other words I would start to add perhaps excessive detail simply because I found the topic in hand interesting, I’d realise¬†I¬†was taking the essay in the wrong direction but¬†notice that I¬†could run my way back into a relevant point. Before I knew it the essay would be done, I’d actually fairly enjoyed¬†writing it¬†and fortunately the finalised version was to a high standard… not to blow my own trumpet of course ūüôā

3.I want to write about what interests me, i.e. Game [Reviews], in a suitable environment

The problem with posting game reviews on sites like IGN, Gamespot¬†or in the customer review section of game.co.uk, is that they can quickly be drowned out. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do so, on the contrary, putting a review on somewhere like game.co.uk is pretty much where reviews ought to be. Where your review can advise someone as to whether¬†or not they should make that all important purchase on a site where their core value is as an outlet for games. On the other hand, such reviews must also be taken with a pinch of salt. You may see a review from one customer, for instance, highly criticising a game with little constructive-ness,¬†it may be¬†fair to say this is an entirely¬†valid opinion and one you should take into consideration when compiling your ‘cons’ list. But, what if all this particular¬†customer’s reviews are like this, or he/she has a heavily bias view? You’re not to know and may accept¬†it as an entirely sincere take on the game in question, preventing you from purchasing it and you’ll¬†never get to experience the wonder that is¬†the Mojave¬†wasteland. So,¬†I¬†felt that, by posting reviews on¬†a personal blog,¬†I could create an identity and substantiate my views. Of course I don’t want to limit myself to game reviews so will most probably talk about other things in gaming or even interests¬†entirely (or partially) detached from gaming, like Maths ūüėÄ

4.Another blog

Someone I know has just started their own blog. He is on a teaching course so…well¬†take a look for yourself!:

http://lloydchilcott.wordpress.com/about/

“It feels like there are teachers who forget that if they want respect, they have to show respect; it is something you earn, not force upon people…”

He already has a post up about his observations on the channel 4 TV show “Educating Essex”, you should¬†expect him to upload a whole range of insightful posts. If you are interested in teaching or are already teaching and even if you are in neither bracket,¬†it would be worth your while keeping tabs on his blog and to primarily support him!

I’m sure I’m probably missing quite a bit out but I feel I’ve covered the main 4 reasons above.

Hopefully I can get my first official post completed soon, then this thing will be up and running!

Thanks for reading! ūüôā

(I guess it wasn’t too short :D)

DM

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