Friday, September 28, 2007

Nintendo Does It Again

Remember earlier this-year when Nintendo Pulled Mario Party 8 and MindQuiz from Shelves because the games contained the word 'spastic'. Well it just happened again with Scrabble (DS) and 'Lesbo'.

The official response is that 'Lesbo' the derogatory slang for 'Lesbian' is in the Scrabble Dictionary, but I checked the Chambers Word Wizard Dictionary and Hasbro's Online Dictionary, neither of which turned up a result. So I am thinking that they need to improve their QA process, but I do think that it is funny that this has happened three times in the same year for Nintendo. Four times this generation if you count the naming of the Wii and all in the same region.

Two YouTubers

Checking my RSS feeds yesterday I noticed that two of my favourite YouTubers both updated on the same day with the kind of video that is a good introduction to their character. And the kind of video that I want to link to when I introduce people to them, so I thought I would share. Both are very entertaining to watch, but for completely different reasons.



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Team Fortress 2 Beta First Impressions

TF2 is awesome, the pacing on the combat is slower than most, which I love (isn't twitch based gameplay). The nine classes of characters are all balanced well with advantages and disadvantages to them all, meaning that although the guy with the Minigun can kill lots of people, because of his slow speed he isn't likely to complete any objective before he dies (unless he teams up with a medic).

The graphics look good and surprisingly the game runs well on my system (GeForce6, 2GHz, 1GB) which is great because when I tried the Quake Wars Demo last week, even with all the settings off and on low, the game still ran just above unplayable.

Before the Beta was launched there was some concern as to wither this was a true Beta or just an exclusive demo as there is only a month left before the game is available for purchase from retail. But no, TF2 is most certainly a beta, the game has lots of stability issues and the TF2 Forum is filled with people having issues. I myself haven't finished a whole game yet as it keeps freezing and crashing. I recommend running TF2 in window mode instead of fullscreen so when the game does freeze it is easier to get to the Task Manager.

I wasn't expecting much, and I only bought The Orange Box for Portal, but I have been pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Half Life 2 Orange Box Confusion

ValVe have confused things a little with the release of The Orange Box as there is no one place where you can get all the information on what you are getting in the box, so let me try and straighten things out.

The Orange Box comes with Half Life 2, HL2 Episode One, HL2 Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress 2. It will be released for the PC and XBox360 on October the 10th with the PS3 version (which is being ported by EA) released at a later date.

If you Pre-Order over STEAM then you will get a 10% ($5) discount on the price. Access to the Team Fortress 2 Beta which starts on the 17th (this Monday). And a copy of Peggle Extreme which is a short ten level version of Peggle that comes Half Life 2 themed.

If you already own Half-Life 2 and/or HL2 Episode One then ValVe is suggesting that you Gift them to a friend when you buy The Orange Box over STEAM. This seems silly, but I think they did that to prevent confusion with multiple versions of the Orange Box as there was originally going to be a Black Box at one point without HL2 and HL2-E1, but that idea was scrapped a few months ago in favour of the single release.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Oblivion 10,000 Watermelons Dupe Video

Via GameGamer a YouTube user named JubeiUK has tested his rig by duping 10,000 watermelons in Oblivion and filming the whole thing with FRAPS. Resulting in an amazing display of ingame physics.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

BioShock (Completed)

BioShock is an FPS about Rapture, an impossible city under the sea where the invention of genetic modifications has turned the residents of a once prosperous city into power hungry vampires. I see BioShock as a counter argument to Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand a book is about the evils of a stagnating socialism society and why society needs to recognise individual achievement to progress. Which is very true, but people can be greedy, controlling and shrug responsibility when it is in their interest, which is what BioShock shows.

The Good
The combat in FPSs over the years hasn't changed much and is my primary complaint against WW2 games in general. BioShock tweaks things are a little as you have two distinct weapon classes. The Right Trigger and Right Bumper (on the 360 gamepad) controls standard weapons like a shotgun, machine-gun, pistol and rocket launcher. And the Left Trigger and Left Bumper controls a second set of weapons called Plasmids which are genetic modifications where you fight with fire, lightning, frost, telekinesis, you can also turn foes into friends and command swarms of bees etc.

The combat in the game works well and in many fights I found myself switching between standard weapons, between ammo types and using plasmids alot, and that's easy to understand when you realise that a group of enemies standing in water can all be killed with one lightning blast instead of a drawn out fight with a shotgun, that doesn't have that much ammo to begin with.

The voice acting in BioShock is great and the dialogue is mostly good, but sometimes it is exceptional with dialogue that deepens characters greatly and the world they live in. You might even find BioShock as one of those games that people quote dialogue from, from time to time.

Level design is all done in a Jules Vern meets US 1930's architecture which is carried out exceptionally and consistently all the way through the game. Although some of the environments lend themselves better gameplay environments than others there are no repeated or dull environments in BioShock. The whole game looks great from start to finish. Level design also plays a large part in advancing the story with many scripted events that changes the environment and deepens the story. My personal favourite section of the game was certainly Fort Frolic where you are kept captive for a time at the pleasure of Sander Cohen:

The Bad
BioShock is quite linear, the advertised moral choices are lame, the story is a little predictable in the end and could have easily been less cliché. Item hunting becomes a chore at times and sometimes you will be lost trying to find an objective, the game has little replay. And not long after starting a new game you will have encountered all the enemies that you will be facing for the rest of the game.

BioShock isn't revolutionary, but it does a few things very well. When BioShock is good, it is exceptional and when it is bad, it is passable. I don't know wither BioShock will win Game-Of-The-Year, but it is certainly a contender.

McFarlane Halo Action Figures just got updated with some Pictures Of The McFarlane Halo Action Figures. I am not a Halo fan, I found the first two games to be very underwhelming compared to the PC FPS classics I was brought up playing, but I still might buy a Master Chief figure.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Zero Punctuation Reviews BioShock

Zero Punctuation has Reviewed BioShock and I agree with much of what he has said. The game is good, but scary and revolutionary it is not.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Random Fact

The Earth isn't a perfect sphere, it is slightly flatter on the top and bottom so is shaped more like a Oblate spheroid.