Sunday, 15 August 2010

Gamespotting 048 - Hello there and how have you been

Well; I know that in the last post on my blog that I said that I would keep stuff more regular on the blog; but after a change of job and sorting out a Maths Retake course; it has kind of gone on the back burner for a while, but I have been ready to talk about what I love once again and to make sure I cover everything; I have broken everything down and make sure I get everything off my chest.

Games I have Been Playing

Well; the annual summer Holiday in the games market has once again taken place which leaves me with nothing new to play; but does allow me to work through the list of games I have wanted to play for a long time. I don't know where to start as it is kinda big list.

The games which have taken most of my time up at the moment are; Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction which I have wanted to play for a long time managed to pick up for £4 off Ebay a few weeks ago which has been a great game so far and is full of laughs. In my opinion; it is an unappreciated title in the PS3 Library and also one of the most memorable games I have ever played which is Final Fantasy 6. It would take up about an entire post on my views on the game (Which will come very soon SPOLER)but in my opinion; it can be classed up there and even maybe overtake the title of Best Final Fantasy Game created and that is a very huge task in my opinion.

Also; in-between all this, I have managed to drag out my Dreamcast for its annual playing putting classics such as Jet Set Radio and Shenmue back into its drive. So even though I have taken a rest from the blog; Gaming has remained a big part of my daily life which is always a good thing.

One game which has dissapointed me since the last post was (I can't believe that I am going to say this) but; No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. I wanted to love this game as I have praised the original so much to almost Preacher status, but it was such a let-down. Don't get me wrong; it was a ride and a half, but everything I loved from the first game has been deleted and replaced with gameplay mechanics which don't work. The boss fights have completely changed and gone have the cool Boss Introductions which would build up the oncoming battle with this uber killing machines. But instead; it just throws you into the battle and tells you who you defeated after you have beaten them which just ruins it. It could have been so much more; but instead I find myself playing the original even more than before.

Films/ TV

A lot of DVDs and TV Shows have managed to come into my DVD collection over the last few weeks of all Genres and Classifications. I have remained faithful to my Twin Peaks Box-sets which I have watched a good few times as well as returning to an old friend which I have not seen in a good while. The genre in question is Anime and yes; I have gone on a bit of a buying spree with the Boxsets as of late. On my hitlist has been Martian Successor Nadesico; Mahoromatic and a few others just to name a few and I have forgot how good some anime can be.

It has been good to get back on my Blog and I know there will be a bit of deja Vu going on but I want to keep this up. I feel that since I have left uni and started to focus on my teaching career; I feel I am loosing touch with the acedemic side of the games industry which I do love to observe and comment; so be ready for some major updates and rants on major stuff (Gaming and Beyond)

Monday, 7 June 2010

Gamespotting 047 - I'm Back and raring to Go

Hello there; how are you. Oh my God, I have not seen you all in ages. Thats right, I am back on my Blog and raring to discuss some great stuff which has happened since the last update. I do apologise for the lack of content on my blog for quite some time, I have been very busy finishing my Degree course which is now completed and I am just starting to enjoy the time off. (It has been very weird to go from Always on the Go and Busy with something to Nothing within a Two Day period but I am slowly getting back into the Groove of it all now).

I have finished the biggest bane of my life which was RIFT after a very bumpy last week of development and now focusing on trying to start my teacher Training which might even mean going back to college for a year which will be a very weird experience after leaving already, but it will be fun. I have also had a few Interviews for some teaching assistant positions within a few schools in the local area which were unsuccessful, but it is all experience at the end of the day for when I do actually get one.

I also got my Dissertation back with the mark of B+ which for something which took me a year of playing Sonic Games (It was very Hard Work and I had to replay them several times to absorb all of the Information from them)and read some very detailed pieces of Text but it was all worth it in the end.

Finally, after all this work. I did something which I have not done for a while which was walk into the closest HMV and had a look round. So much stuff has been released while I have been trapped in all this work such as Twin Peaks - Season Two (Only Two and a Half Years Late but better than never I suppose), No More Heroes 2 - Desperate Struggle which I plan to write an artical about soon, Ponyo (The next Ghibli Film which looks amazing) and a few other bits and bobs which found their way into my shopping basket. So these will take up my time for the moment and keep my occupied while I start to relax and unwind for a few weeks.

I am planning to keep my Blog entrys regular over the next few months/years so that I don't leave a rather huge gap like I have done previously but I want to maintain this blog for the future Generations to come back too and see what the Hell I have been rambling about for all these years. So sit back and enjoy the up-coming ride as Gamespotting is back in Business.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Gamespotting 046 - An Eternal Update

The Easter Holidays are here finally and I can (for a few days at least) can have a break from everything and start to focus on the finishing line. I am focusing on finishing off my final project; concepting my two new projects for my portfolio (one being Eternal and A Second to be confirmed) and finally play some games which over the last few weeks is only becoming a luxury.

I have been purchasing games for the last few weeks but only managed to get a few of them; I managed to play a bit of the excellent Flower; Sun and Rain from the ever excellent Suda 51; The Orange Box to finally play Half Life 2 and its episodes and also Pokemon Soul Silver which comes out this Friday and everybody at uni is training up for over the Easter Break for a major on scale battle when we return.

I also have some books to read; but this cannot get in the way of the work which I must finis for when we go back; so if I get to play and read these items will be another story. So I will keep you updated when I have concepted Eternal some more (of which at the moment is in Alpha development) and hopefully it will go well.

If you would like to see some more posts of my gaming experiencing; I am writing for at the moment and am uploading my articles daily so please visit the site and see what you think

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Gamespotting 045 - Its Eternal what we go through

Today has been a very important day within my Game Creation career as I have had an idea for a game. I know it is a bit of a shock for a games designer to create a game but it is like nothing I have ever designed before.

The inspiration for my Idea has come from two places which I have listened to today; First is the Destructoid Podcast (This Weeks Episode) when they were talking about the difficulty of various Boss Characters in games they have played before and how they defeated them; all having different styles and secondly Brenda Brathwaite's lectures about her collection of games known as "The Mechanic is the Message" and how they all affect how the player thinks about some truly horrible Story Elements such as a Train Driver taking Jews to Auschwitz in Train.

All these elements has me thinking; does the type of Game Player affect how the player would play not only the games mentioned in these examples; but all in games in general and with this has come the Birth of Eternal.

At the moment; Eternal is an additional piece to go into my Portfolio; but it is also an experiment to see me try and answer this question of Player Interaction with the product. it might have been done before; but this will be my attempt at it and hopefully it will pay off and be a nice addition to my Portfolio.

I will add more content to the blog when I have fully concepted the Idea but I want it to be a tribute to the ideals of Serious Games and what they are trying to achieve within the Industry.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Gamespotting 044 - I don't know about other people; but I like playing in the Heavy Rain

Like many gamers over the last few weeks; I have bought, played and finished in Heavy Rain and I must say I have enjoyed every second of the game from its detailed storyline; likeable characters and its everything has a consequence style of Storytelling has all combined to make a truly enjoyable gameplay experience. But after I have finished the game; I looked at the reviews from my favourite game sites and much like Heavy Rain; they all had different experiences with the title and liked it some places while hating it in others.

Destructoid's editors loved the game but questioned it's storyline; especially the Twist in the ending scenes of the game; while others loved its simplistic gameplay which did not interrupt the game's main focus of the storyline.

But personally; I found very little faults with the game and it immersed me deeply within its storyline which has not happened to me personally as a gamer since I first played Code Veronica on my beloved Dreamcast. Of Course there are a few problems with the game such as the sometimes jerky controls and some texture clashing with the camera; but at the end of the day I loved this game and what is trying to achieve within the Industry.

No other game for a long time has me truly worried about what will happen next within the game; no other game has had me clutching my SIXAXIS to try and complete the relevant cut scene in the right times; but also no other game has had me going to the top of my monitor and listening carefully for an audio clue to where to go next within the game's storyline and for that; I thank it for providing me with some great gaming time.

But it has provided me with a problem; now that I have played Heavy Rain, I am very intrigued to go back to Quantic Dream's previous title Fahrenheit and see if the gameplay from Heavy Rain stemmed from their previous work and I can go for the ride all over again. I hope it is not raining anywhey.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Gamespotting 043 - Happy Birthday Gamespotting (2010 - The Year of the Indie Title)

Hello all.

Well near enough this time last year; I started this thing which I call my Blog and even though the contributions to it have swung between regular and irregular, but I want to be the first to say Happy Birthday Gamespotting.

Now observing my gaming habits as well as the affairs within the Industry over the last 12 Months; it is weird how much my gaming taste has changed over the last 12 months with the first posts of the blog talking about the drought of titles within the Industry and me going back to older titles such as Beyond Good and Evil and Code Veronica to quench my Gaming Thirst and at this point of the year; I am overcome with the amount of quality titles which have found their way into my Disk Drives. Games like the absolutely amazing Mass Effect 2 and the not yet finished but is already amazing Heavy Rain, I am absolutely spoiled for choice.


If I could predict one thing for the upcoming year is that 2010 will be the year of the Indie Title; with a large amount of Indie titles breaking through to the other side of the Gaming Spectrum and receiving a lot of publicity and praise for their uniqueness; mark my words; Independent Games will be on the rise.

The following Indie Titles are ones which I think will do well this year; both on the consoles and on the PC.

Super Meat Boy!
VVVVVV (Six Vs I think it is spelt)

Well; I have enjoyed this year of gaming and as I sit here with my Party Streamer and Bottle of Magners; I say one again Happy Birthday and heres to another great year in gaming

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Gamespotting 042 - There is MORE Evidence and Introversion's Anthology

Well; as I have been running my blog for about a year, I have been looking through my older posts and seeing what my opinion of games were last year and I came across a post about a game called Evidence: The Last Ritual.

Now just for the record and I have said this before, I loved Evidence: The Last Ritual and compared to the stuff which came out last year; it was one of the better games which I have played and I love to play it again (if I could find the disks for it). But on the way back from uni one afternoon; I came across a bargain bin of PC games with the usual suspects which you would find in it (stuff like Barbie's Horse Adventures) but to my surprise, I came across a game which was called In Memoriam. Now after a few minutes, it jogged my memory to being the prequel title of Evidence: The Last Ritual and it was only £1.99. WHAT A BARGAIN.

I put in my drive and I played the title for a few hours over the course of this weekend before doing some more coursework and I have to say; I wish I played this game first. It is still the same sort of gameplay and its more of the same compared to The Last Ritual, but it was such a better experience and even though it is an older title, it blew me away more than anything else this year (with the exception of Mass Effect 2 of course) and I am glad I took that way home this week as I might have never come across the title.

Also talking about older PC games; I have been looking at the Introversion Software site recently looking at their progress of their new title, but accidentally I came across their online store which lead me to finding the Introversion Anthology. A Box Set of their entire games collection for the small price of £30 quid. Not only do you get classic titles such as Darwinia; DEFCON and my personal favourite, Uplink but you get all the games within a special Introversion Tin which is embossed with a Darwinian which makes it all the more special. Now I have had a special place in my gaming heart for them as they make such quality titles; it is worth the wait for the new titles and I think that buying these titles will keep them going to create even more titles which I will play over and over again.

So like this time last year; I have been looking at older titles instead of buying the new and in my opinion; it is well worth it.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Gamespotting 041 - Mass Effect 2 effecting my Xbox (Once Again)

Now during my extreamly busy schedule at the moment, I have had some time to play a game which I have been eagerly awaiting for a long time, this title being Mass Effect 2. Now as I have said a few times on the blog; I loved the first game; it being the only game in a long time which I have played multiple times over (I think the last was CODE: Veronica) and I have enjoyed every playthrough even though I know the storyline like the back of my hand.

So on the 29th January; I took a trip down to Game in Manchester and bought the special edition of the game to go alongside my Mass Effect 1 Special Edition. Once in my Xbox 360's Drive; the game has not left the console (apart from the disk swap) and I have found myself engrossed in the universe once again much like the Previous game did and I have enjoyed every second of it. It took me 26 hours to finish the storyline of the game but doing all of the side quests has taken me up to 40 Hours which for £49.99 is a great bargain considering the amount of gameplay you get.

I also imported my character from Mass Effect 1 into this game which did affect the storyline of the game as the decisions which I made on the first game like Keeping Wrex Alive, Letting the Rachnai go and Destroying the Citadel Council to destroy the reaper ship, Soverign all coming back in this title to affect the storyline although in smaller ways than once thought. But to see Wrex as leader of the Krogan, The Rachnai queen channelling herself through an Asari to talk to Sheperd on Illium and meeting the parents of people who died on the attack on the Citadel all affected me and the way I played this game. But my thoughts now is that if this was how the choices from the first game affected the second, imagine how they would affect the Third and Final in this already Epic Trilogy.

Everything in this game has been altered and changed for the better and in my opinion; even though I have played the first game to death, I would have this game over the first as it seems so more refined compared to the last one. But even though I love this game more than the first; I do have a problem. I have finished the main storyline and I do want to play this game again. Not because I didn't enjoy this game (far from it), but as I am eager for the next one so much. I want to remember the game how I have played it on this playthrough and not go back and find something which I didn't pick up on on another. Also my crew/ship survived the final mission and I have the DLC to look forward to; so I don't think I will restart this game soon. I might go back to the first title and create a new Shepherd once again and play through them both back to back to see how it differs with a new character. But for now my Sheperd File can sit down with his Girlfriend Tali and have a rest after beating all these collectors; with The Reapers waiting in the wings.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Gamespotting 040 - Stephen Fry ARG and Link meets Gene Hunt

Well; it is nearly here and I am looking forward to it; the next semester of my university course and as it is the last; I am going to ensure that everything goes OK and I have a blast, but in the meantime. I have been playing some games and also listening to some free audiobooks that I got from (Free Book upon registration).

One of these was The Dongle of Donald Trefusis by Stephen Fry which is a continuing Radio series by the great Mr Fry which revolves around acquiring a mysterious USB Drive from his late Cambridge Professor which when mounting the device on his Macbook finds a large amount of files which starts a mysterious Treasure Hunt; but upon listening to the second episode starts the listener to launch up their respected Web Browser and start following both weblinks and twitter feeds alike to find clues to the next part of the story. Upon listening to this; I hopped onto my laptop and found myself embroiled into this Alternative Reality Game which at the moment has got me researching pieces of fine art in order to find a clue to the next part of the story.

Now not being an expert of Alternative Reality Games; but being aware of them and such examples as Perplex City and I Love Bees; it rearly surprised me when sitting in my gaming chair that I was following in the same steps as Mr Fry as he looks into the mystery of this Dongle and going into the third part of the series, I am looking forward to where it will take me next.

Link Meets Gene Hunt at Khoolint Island

Apart from listening to these Audiobooks and Podcasts; I have found a long lost friend of mine which has been with me for a long time; my Game Boy. Still in its tatty goodness and with its dislodged B Button still needing that small poke in order to work; it brought so many memories back to me with the likes of Kirby's Dream Land, Metroid 2: Return of Samus, Super Mario Land 1 and 2 and most important; Pokemon Blue edition which I have completed several times over and probably know like the back of my hand.

But already in the drive of My Game Boy was the classic title and one of my favourite game boy games which was Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening now being the first Zelda Game I ever played and I still think is better than most Zelda Games so it does hold a dear place in my heart. But the save file was still working so I decided to give this gem another blast. Link was in the middle of animal village just after the 3rd Dungeon and going into the 4th and 5th; I still had to aquire my Hookshot but I decided to blast through the game and now I am on the second to last part of the game and it has still not lost its charm; but one thing did spring to mind.

When the game is booted up; the player is shown a video clip which shows Link coming back from overseas and in the middle of a lighting storm; his ship gets struck by Lightning and then the player is took to a shore side of an island where an unconscious Link is being awaken by a mysterious women. Upon playing the game even further; you find that the entire island is a Dream created by Link's concious mind when he is knocked out unconscious by a bolt of lighting and when he awakes; the island and all its inhabitants will dissapear forever. But this instantly brought to mind of one of my favourite TV series; Life on Mars which follows a similar storyline to that of Link's awakening which bring me to the conclusion; was this game the true inspiration of Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes. Only Link or Gene Hunt could tell us the answer.

I have to once again apologise for the absence of entrys on my Blog; but as you can see it has been hectic within my life at the moment and I have not rearly had a moment; but as it is the 1 Year Anniversary of my Blog I will ensure that I will get something special to write about for that entry.