Thursday, 6 August 2009

2009/2010 Goodies

Lets ignore the two-month gap and assume that this post is coming shortly after my E3 event synopsis. So I think I kinda promised that I would be discussing the important stuff that I learned from E3: these important things would, of course, be the games.

During my long stay in the English countryside I had plenty of time to ignore it and concentrate on E3 announcements. Seeing as I had all this time I also made a variety of lists and classifications. This post will contain the principal info which is a list of games, their respective platforms and release dates. My successive posts will then describe why gamers should be excited about this list.

I'll apologise in advance if this post doesn't do much for you however it is a necessary evil for what follows. I mean if I just described how great this game would be then you'd be asking yourself so many other questions. Screw the apologies, just the amount of games on this list shows how great a year this could be.

ACE Games

Xbox 360

Mass Effect 2 (Q1 2010)


God of War 3 (Q1 2010)
Uncharted 2 (Nov. 13th)
Heavy Rain (Q1 2010)
Trico (TBA)
Yakuza 3 (?)

Good Games

Xbox 360

Left 4 Dead 2 (Nov. 17th)
Crackdown 2 (TBA)
Halo 3 ODST (Sept. 22nd)
Alan Wake (Q1 2010)
Splinter Cell Conviction (Oct. 17th)

Great and interesting games on both Platforms

Bioshock 2 (Oct. 30th)
Lost Planet 2 (TBA)
Dragon Age Origins (Nov. 6th)
Assassins Creed 2 (Nov. 17th)
The Saboteur (Dec. 8th)
Final Fantasy XIII (Q1/Q2 2010)
Modern Warfare 2 (Nov. 10th)
Borderlands (Oct. 20th)
Alpha Protocol (Oct. 6th)
Darksiders (Jan. 1st)

(The quality of the games is speculative and may be erroneous)

As you can see some of the games are missing a few details, however that does not diminish the excitement that there announcements elicit. The PS3 is looking pretty strong with its line-up however many of its exclusive don't come out any time soon. The Xbox 360 is looking solid but most of the big games in the near future are all multi-platform so no worries for both owners.

The next post will discuss individual games in a bit more depth. Please notify me of any oversights.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Proof of Life

I am still alive. I will post more soon. Promise. Berts Over and Out.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Yes I'm lazy, but I'm back

Well, I'm back. After an unpleasant stint of academic responsibility I have taken excessive time to do absolutely nothing. It was good, it bordered between being boring while simultaneously being awesome. Now I feel that I should start doing a few things so that I don't devolve into a pile of inanimate goo (I've been sitting on the sofa watching E3 footage and MMA for days as I'm stuck in the countryside with no games consoles and erratic weather. Not looking for pity, I'm demanding it)

Big news for those who appreciate the higher art form of gaming. As the news is fairly extensive I shall do a series of posts that will bring an abridged version of the important E3 announcements. Here it goes.

Press Conferences

The games will not be covered in the press conferences as there are simply too many for one post. The Press Conferences section will be a summary of the basic announcements and some accompanying comments related to those announcements.


- This press conference was genuinely exciting. Sony released big announcements with some phenomenal game titles as well as new hardware announcements. In all honesty my excitement comes from their line up of games rather than the hardware stuff as it is still too early in development to see if it holds any potential. Their announcement of a new PSP model was leaked before the show and frankly doesn't interest me in the least. Also the fact that the new PSP GO costs 250 euros isn't bordering on ludicrous rather it's trekked some ways into that territory.

The new motion controls shown can go two ways. The likely direction is that they are gonna copy Nintendo and attempt to hook-in the casual consumer with a barrage of pseudo-games, in this case it does not overly interest me. However it is possible that they actually use this hardware well to bring casual games to the platform while at the same time employing the dual motion sensor for core games as the shield and sword tech demo in the conference showed a glimmer of promise. This pretty much covers the core announcements, excluding games, made by Sony. Overall the conference dragged in some places but was well presented and held enough exciting news to keep the viewer interested in the announcements.


- This conference was appallingly bad. In fairness the titles announced by Nintendo are genuinely good and Nintendo fans have reason to be happy with this years showing, it's simply that the presentation was so horrible that I spaced out after a few minutes. The only real non-game announcement I think they made was the development of the Wii vitality sensor. This is essentially a sensor that you clip on your finger that monitors your heart rate. The only way I can think of using this is to incorporate it with workout games to monitor your heart which is really quite lame. I do hold the hope however that I am wrong and Nintendo will find some way to make it more fun but I remain quite skeptical.

Also the Wii motion plus is coming out soon so that the Wii can finally track the full motion of the controller. Although this was somewhat promised at the beginning of the Wii and makes buying all the controller accessories a small fortune it does promise to increase the potential of games that wish to use the motion controller more prominently. Altogether not a bad conference in terms of games but I have to wonder why all the suits at Nintendo are being payed if their press conference was that bad.


- Probably the best conference in terms of presentation. They kept up a nice flow of games and announcements while steering clear of sales figures and pie charts. Started with some big multi-platform games then moved on to a long reel of game exclusives. The only real new hardware presentation, beyond adding Facebook, Twitter, misc. into Xbox Live, was Project Natal. Although they had some tech demos demonstrating their better 'eye-toy' I remain very skeptical about the potential, at our current technology level, of this device.

My 'gut' instinct is that the main reason for Natal is to add the casual market slice to their profit chart. I would like to clarify that I do not begrudge any of the companies attempting to access the more casual market but I would hope that they see the inherent potential in using the new hardware for game purposes as well. Their conference was mainly focused on games so there is not much to write.

That pretty much sums up the press conferences as I don't plan to cover the major developers and publishers as their main announcements were covered by the big three. Next post I'll cover the real meat of E3, the games.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Shadow of the Colossus with friends?

Okay, so I'm posting about a new game coming out which looks amazing. Now let me acknowledge that there are quite a few games coming out in the near future which look fantastic but this one has got me quite buzzed because of what it could potentially deliver. It may end up not being that great however at the moment it is nothing less than spun gold. The game is Lost Planet 2 and the console is 360 (YES!!). 

Now the reason that the game has gotten me so excited is because it reminds me, in some ways, of the masterpiece that is Shadow of the Colossus. Now the game will most probably not have the artistic glory of shadow of the colossus nor its hauntingly beautiful story however it seems to have taken one of its core gameplay mechanics and decided to implement it with a wider scope. 

Basically what it seems to be demonstrating is a team, co-op of up to at least 4 players, trying to take down this behemoth-like creature. Alone the players are useless but with proper strategy the Davids may take out the monstrous Goliath. Enough talk as one should most definitely watch the trailer right here. (watch trailer in HD if your connection can handle it as the visuals are spectacular)

I hope my readers will be as excited as I am for I foresee that, barring one of them being stupid and going and getting a job in some third world country, we shall enjoy killing monstrous things together.

PS - the makers of shadow of the colossus and ICO are working on a new IP which should be debuted at this years E3. 

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Surrounded by the Force

I would like to take this opportunity to inform all those people that think Glasgow is dangerous that they are wrong. Sure, Glasgow may be the stabbing capital of Europe and have loads of crack addicts, but it also has something that other cities lack...Jedi. 

Yes, that's right, I am constantly protected by Jedi. Overall 8 individuals in the Strathclyde security services admitted to following the faith of the Jedi. In fact they were the only agency in Britain to openly admit this information. This puts me at considerable ease as the combination of their unmatched combat abilities and formidable interrogation techniques make them the ultimate warrior. Oh, they can also use the force to push things and stuff. And lightning, they can make lightning with their hands. Etc. Etc.

While I believe the officer below may be an American Jedi I'm sure the Scottish ones are just as fearsome.

This picture isn't really related to my post but I felt the need to include it. 

Procrastination tools

This is a post for those that love procrastination. The following are a couple of internet goodies that will be hugely helpful in facilitating the aforementioned process. One offers media entertainment while the other offers videogame joy.

Lets start with the media one. Well lets forget this one for now as it seems to be experiencing technical problems (hopefully temporary). Technical problems have been fixed and the site can be found here. With loads of TV shows etc. this site is pretty good for catching up on the latest heroes episodes (which have gotten a lot better) or anything else really.

The online game one is a site that hosts some of the best flash games I've ever played. It can be found here. I recommend Final Ninja Zero and Commando 2. 

Now a little comic strip to make this post somewhat worthwhile. 

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Damn... damn...

Some alarming news has made its way onto the Internet. Apparently Shadow of the Colossus is being made into a movie. This is a piece of saddening news for me. Not only because I believe this wondrous game does not lend itself to the medium of film, but also due to the fact that Hollywood is getting the same bunch of incompetent people to manage this project that seem to manage all those bungled game-to-movie attempts. 

I am not going to talk about the particulars of this future bungle, or who will be responsible for the desecration of one of the most artistic games ever made, rather I am going to devote this post to the majesty that is Shadow of the Colossus.

Shadow of the Colossus was made by the creators of ICO, a wondrous game in its own right, and tells the tale of a boy and his princess. Part of the inherent beauty in the game is its simplicity. The plot is subtle and compelling, the graphics are nothing short of breathtaking, and the gameplay is phenomenally fun.

While the boy and his princess plot may seem trite and cliche, I can assure you that this game presents it in a manner that is completely engrossing. The entrance cutscene outlines the final steps of a journey; a boy bringing a seemingly unconscious girl to a temple in the hopes of restoring her health. In this temple he is told that the only way to restore her is to destroy the 16 monsters roaming the lands. 

In a bid to save the girl he loves the boy sets out upon his horse to complete this task. Every time he defeats a monster he is returned to the temple to see the creature's effigy collapse. That is almost the full extent of the story until the end. The unobtrusive yet present approach to storytelling constantly reminds you of why you are playing the game while remaining understated and elegant in its design. There is more to the story that is discovered towards the end however I have no wish to spoil it.

The graphics are gorgeous and the journeying to fight the various creatures is never dull as the natural beauty of your surroundings puts you into a meditative state before battle. Your horse is your constant companion and is present at all times. This mechanic is ingenious as the combination of the horses constant presence and nobody else to share your journey with ensures that an unbreakable bond between the player and the horse is formed. Throughout all of this a symphonic music score plays quietly in the background, rousing up only in times of battle.

The gameplay is fantastic as there are only the titanic creatures that you battle. At the outset of every leg of your journey you wonder what creature you will next encounter and chances are that you will be surprised at its majesty and power every time. This is because the creatures you confront are gigantic representations of oddly formed animals with a Mayan aesthetic, each one different from the last. The game requires you to physically climb these behemoths to be able to target the only point where they may be injured. 

It is impossible to fully describe the intricacies of what occurs further without ruining the game to some extent and so that is all I am going to say regarding the game. I do however strongly urge anybody with a PS2 and a desire to play games that elicit real wonder to give it a chance.