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Archive for the tag “gaming”

My Top 10 Xbox 360 Games! (#5 – #1)

Read entries 10 to 6 here!

In comparison, and predictably, my countdown from 10 to 6 was far easier to compile than the following. I feel its worth prefacing my top 5 with how closely these games rub shoulders. Firstly, understand that I very much adore all of these games. They have each provided countless hours of enjoyment and have each, in their own ways, enriched the world of gaming- this goes for all of my top 10. Nevertheless, bulletpointing a top 5 would be the easy way out, thus I have tried my best to assign a ranking, though the differences from place to place are almost, if not entirely, negligible. The following 5 games have, in my opinion, transcended what it has traditionally meant to be a video game. All of these are an example of the unbound potential in gaming, in a time where technical limitations needn’t impede an idea. Read more…

My Top 10 Xbox 360 Games! (#10 – #6)

My gamerscore has just rocketed past the 25,000 mark and I thought it may be worth spending a moment talking about the amass of games that got me here. Now, 25,000 may not seem like a considerable amount to some and those not familiar with the 360’s achievement system may have no particular frame of reference. So, for the uninitiated, here’s a short introduction to the wonderous world of achievements. Each game, upon release, is designated 1000 gamerscore points. This number is usually increased through extra downloadable content. It is generally limited to around 1750 gamerscore (or ‘g’ for sake of abbreviation) with a few exceptions. Now, achievements are effectively mini-objectives unique to a particular game and earning such will impart a certain amount of gamerscore towards your overall total. Read more…

Forging An Avengers Video Game

The Avengers was an incredible, incredible film! Every part of it was spot on. The action, the acting, the characters, their relationships and portrayal, all of it was perfect. A film that could have gone disastrously wrong instead went better than could have ever been expected. Naturally, the first thing that came to mind was “this would make an awesome video game!” I’ve spent some time contemplating what ingredients would be needed to make a game with the same lasting impression as the blockbuster film. Imagine my excitement when a teaser trailer was unveiled for an Avengers game at E3! Batman had already shown the game industry how a super hero game should be made, hopefully they had heeded those lessons for this latest title!

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Why I really liked the end of Mass Effect 3

The Mass Effect Trilogy heralded a new type of story telling in gaming. Bioware forged a truly personal experience, where the biggest, most defining decisions were left to the player. Few games can claim the scope, both contextually and technically, that was achieved in this awe-inspiring series of games where your mission takes you across an entire galaxy in which you discover alien races and new worlds that have their own rich histories.  You do not need to have played Mass Effect 3 to be aware that it is an incredibly impressive game, neither do you need to have played it to be aware of the controversy surrounding its conclusion.  The ending lead to huge uproar by players which has been taken on board by Bioware who are taking action, and all respect to them for doing so. When the problem surfaced, I had not yet finished the game and so I was extremely curious as to what Bioware had gotten so wrong. As the credits rolled I was utterly blown away, but also a little confused as to what I missed. I headed online to figure out what exactly was everybody’s concern and I personally don’t feel that the ending should have received such disdain for the reasons that were given. Personally, I was very satisfied by the ending and a little disappointed about the reception it received, and here’s why…

SPOILER ALERT: The rest of this post will most certainly contain spoilers concerning fundamental events in the final moments of the game, DO NOT READ if you are yet to finish or plan to play Mass Effect ever! I’ve put some space between here and the next bit to avoid accidents…

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Dear Esther…

I can’t really say that I’m much of a PC gamer. Despite having only bought my computer towards the end of last year, its lack of a dedicated graphics card prevents me from playing most of the PCs newer titles, as well as a sizeable chunk of its more dated assets. Although, even if my rig was powerful enough, I would still very much be a console gamer. My predicament means that I tend towards some of the smaller, less CPU/graphics card intensive games on my PC. The Onlive game streaming service does somewhat bypass my PC’s shortcomings but I tend to focus on the Steam service where I can conveniently download the games to my hard drive. My current benchmark for playable games on my computer was set by Portal. I have got Fallout 3 to work, but at the cost of pushing my graphics card beyond its physical limits. I recently heard about a remake of an Indie game called (as the post’s title suggests) “Dear Esther”. I found the game on Steam for a reasonable £6.99 and after a quick “can you run it” test and noticing it runs off of the Source Engine (similarly to Portal), I decided I’d try it out!

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Batman: From City to Asylum

Cool guys don't look at moons!

I’m not quite sure why, but back when it was fresh out of development, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about playing Batman Arkham Asylum. I had played the game’s demo and actually really enjoyed it. I used to watch Batman Returns regularly although that was some time ago. All I can really recall from my previous exposure to the Dark Knight is a very creepy Danny DeVito, the gadget intensive Batmobile and a law-breaking Catwoman. Of course I was aware of things like his sidekick, the Batcave, the Joker and Alfred, but what was the most prevalent was the fact he had no superpowers. I suspect that the latter was the reason I was never too interested in Batman. My memory of Batman Returns is clearly vague (I see the oxymoron) so rather than associating suave, stealthy and unmeasurably brave to Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego, my perception became heavily influenced by Batman’s portrayal in the occasional cartoon. I was pretty much oblivious to the original realisation of the Cape Crusader by DC comics and so I was a little taken aback by the impressive but unusual style (unusual to me at least) of Arkham Asylum. Read more…

2011: A Hero’s Journey

In 2011, the gamer found themself in a plethora of life threatening situations. In some cases the fate of a civilisation rested on our shoulders, in others it was a mere fight for survival. When we are stood before a game, we do not intend to play it for fun, someone is in need of our help! With the disk-shaped SOS, we ride into battle, controller sheathed at our side. If such situations arose in day-to-day life, it would force you to the limits of human ability where you would surely be left teetering. However, gamers stare deep into the eyes of adversity and shrug off fear to get the job done. When their mission is finally complete, do they stop? No. They go head first into the next chapter to restore what seems to be a futile harmony-and on almost a daily basis. There was no shortage of dire circumstances in the gaming world in 2011 and, while we may have briefly quaked, we knew what needed to be done and so we embarked on our perilous journeys. Read more…

5 ways to revitalise the “Shooter”

The evolution of the video game industry has seen the breadth of variety expand greatly within each of its genres. The Roleplaying game, for instance, encapsulates games such as Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed and World of Warcraft and, even though they fall under the same umbrella, they are wholly distinct. The same is true for the puzzle genre. Portal 2 and Ilo Milo seem to be worlds apart (and very much are, Ilo Milo drove me crazy!), but they both take advantage of similar devices (i.e. they are games of puzzle solving). Most genres have this divergent property, where the core ideas remain the same and are intrinsic to the gameplay but the developers have somehow managed to take these simple properties and make a plethora of entirely different games- very fractal-esque! However, one genre that seems to be tending towards convergence is the shooter. Read more…

Modifying Minecraft: The Source Code

If you have spent any time on Minecraft, you’ll surely be familiar with the wealth of mods available for the game. Each and every one of these have been created by a member of the Minecraft community by simply accessing the code that is responsible for EVERYTHING you see and interact with in Minecraft and making their own, inspired adjustments. This code is fairly simple to access and the mods are very simple to compile, it’s the stuff in between, namely the programming itself, that will take the most patience and careful consideration. I am by no means an expert in programming in Minecraft, and far from it in general. Nevertheless, even the simple ability to spot certain patterns will get you well on your way to creating your first mod and this will give you a real example of many programming ideas in practice. Read more…

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…

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