Wednesday, 4 June 2008

A Case Of The Rambles

For once, I actually decided to sit down and write a blog, not because I was bored, or the Wanderer had pestered me, or I hadn’t blogged in ages, just because I actually kinda fancied it. And you know what, I don’t even know what I want to talk about, I guess I’ll just see what happens.

I haven’t played Starcraft in over a week now, and if it wasn’t for the fact I’ve had a heck of a lot of exams to revise for, as well as working on a couple of little projects I currently have going, I would probably have gone insane from the withdrawal. Seriously though, I’ve been keeping my eye on a few Starcraft 2 blogs, I’m so hyped for that game.

Only problem is, as I have noted a few times, my laptop is perfectly fine for blogging and internetting and musics (when it feels like it), but it’s only a Core Duo-thingymabob, with integrated graphics and 1GB of RAM, so although it can cope with Starcraft, I think if I showed it Starcraft 2, it would just cry. And that's on the lowest settings.

And I finally found myself a job, so I could save up for a new PC for gaming, but not having any actual approximate release date for SC2 makes it difficult to work out timings of savings. But I start next week, so first thing I’ll be getting is a wireless box at home, because having to lug the laptop downstairs every time I want to go online is so incredibly annoying, and I also need it for the PlayStation Network. After that on the shopping list is a new hi-def video camera, a hi-def TV, a new PC for family use as our (256mb RAM, AMD Athlon-based) current PC is pretty much on it’s deathbed.

But then when to get a new machine for gaming? I guess the best bet is to just keep saving up and then go out and buy the best I can get for my money just before Starcraft 2 gets released…whenever that may be. Who knows. But you can see how expensive this addiction is gonna become.

And that’s not even including the nuts amount of PS3 games coming out. God, I’m gonna be skint by Christmas again for sure. Uncharted is pretty damn awesome by the way, I’m really getting into that; I stuck GTA in again today for a bit too, but revision just keeps eating into my precious game time. Oh well, just over a week of exams left now. Then I’m free.



Monday, 2 June 2008

Vaguely Associated (Or 'The Forgetfulness of an Octopus')

I warn you now: this post is entirely disjointed. Basically, whenever cool gaming news comes out or I get a new game, I tend to add it to this ever-lengthening list of things to blog about. Except there's always one or two things I forget to mention when I stick a post up, so certain things get rolled over until later. Or I forget completely. And so I end up with a list of items still to write about. So here goes...

Quite a while ago, I mentioned that I had brought myself the loveable PSP game Patapon. A number of guys who worked on LocoRoco also worked on this and I quite liked the look of it, so post-demo playing, I indulged myself. And it really is a great game. The graphical style is something new, the gameplay is a great concept (you move/attack/defend by inputting the correct 'beat' on the PSP face buttons) and the characterisation of the little Patapon is fantastic. However (yes, that is a however. And in italics too), it is very repetitive. Playing through levels that are very similar, defeating the same enemies with no real difference between attacks, gets very annoying. And that's before I get to the boss battles: you basically fight a big bad guy the same way about five times in a level, but there's no way to tell how well you're doing, he will just randomly die at some point. Oh and the cutesy music? Does you head in after a while. I assume all the unlockable's add a lot of replayability to the game, but I wouldn't know, because I just gave up through boredom. Great game, well executed, very repetitive. Due to not reviewing games I haven't completed, I wont give Patapon a score, but I will recommend it just for a hire.

And what do I really find weird? That there was one game everyone slated upon release for being too repetitive: Assassin's Creed. And I bought it weekend before last. And it's not as repetitive as Patapon. Maybe it's due to the lack of little critters screeching samey tunes through your headphones, or maybe that there is actually a story in AC. Whatever it is, the 'Creed is the less repetitive game. Ironically, I'm pretty sure I just repeated myself there. Anyways, I've had a little while to get my teeth into the genetically-modified medieval-em-up, and to be honest, I'm impressed. It's reeeeaaallly fun to be leaping around the roof tops (socially acceptable walking be damned), grabbing onto whatever you can find, and it feels like a developed version of the fantastic movement in Shadow of the Colossus. Adding to that comparison, the animation engine is probably the shining star of Assassin's Creed. It basically connects all the different actions together with individual animations, so there is no judderyness at all when changing direction or attacking or whatnot. Also, I'm only up to my third assassination, so the investigation-and-assassination fatigue hasn't set in yet, but if reviews are correct, it should do soon. We'll see I guess, but Assassin's Creed is definitely a great game so far.

How am I getting so many games lately even though I should be completely skint, earning no money like I do? Well that would be down to Aquatic and I's recent discovery: game trade-ins. Basically, we can finish games, then hand them back for monies. Then buy more games with those monies. It's genius! So over the past few weeks I've traded in my PS2, all of my PS2 games that aren't scratched to within an inch of their lives, and my old PSP phatface, and I didn't do badly out of it either; those trade-ins have financed the purchase of Resistance, MotorStorm, Assassin's Creed and the two most recent additions to my game library: Burnout Paradise and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. I haven't put much time into either as I've been busy revising for this week's shagloads of exams as well as edging closer and closer to the end of Resistance: Fall of Man when I find some spare moments, however I will make some very brief notes. Burnout is great fun, particularly the seamless online. Uncharted is a next-gen Tomb Raider with a green coat of paint, clothes that dynamically dry off, and more shooting, but that's no bad thing. Expect more from me on both of them soon.

PlayStation Home. How I long for thee. Okay, actually that's a lie: I still don't have my PS3 hooked up to the internet. Well not my internet. My neighbours at the moment. Bad connection. Dodgy gaming. Short sentences. Anyways, Home has always seemed pretty cool in concept, and I'm now waiting to get my hands on it. In the meantime however, Sony seems to be quite content with just adding more and more stuff to the closed beta and just taunting the rest of us with it. Bitches. The most recent addition was that of the 'Home Events and Media Space' (from here on that's the 'Event Space', kay?). Basically, the Event Space is where virtual recreations of gaming (and other) events can take place, likely simultaneously with the event in real life. The debut of the Event Space was with the PlayStation Day the other week, and the Space was all decked out in media from the event, with a live video feed from the keynote, screenshots in a literal gallery, along with gameplay footage and trailers on screens. I believe something similar was also set up for UbiDays last week. The concept is a fantastic addition to Home, as it means that come E3, rather than reading liveblogs on the web, you could be seated in a virtual arena set up in the Event Space watching the presentation live, then wandering around Home taking in all the news and games. And it makes me just a little hopeful that Home could really be something impressive and individual.

Other news that caught my eye recently: Bioshock is finally coming to PS3 in October (wahey!), which makes me happy because my poor laptop is not ideal for gaming and I own not a 360; PS3 firmware 2.40 is rumoured for an imminent release adding Trophies to the XMB as well as in-game messaging amongst other things; and Cloverfield is out (in the US) and reviewed on Blu-Ray, so expect me to grab it as soon as it arrives in my fair nation. Juno's out June 9th though, I shall be purchasing that indeed.

Speak soon, lots of gratuitous love, FO.