Bit of a quiet month … not many movies on the horizon, but do have a few reviews in the pipeline … such as the newly released 25th Anniversary Blu-ray of classic comedy / fantasy The Princess Bride. Also I have Pascal Lugier’s somewhat ignored but (in certain circles) well received Tall Man. I’m betting because it isn’t about women being tortured (!), it’s sneaked under the radar of fans of French shocker Martyrs… Also there has been a recent Studio Ghibli season on television (Film Four) and a few titles I haven’t yet seen (Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro) have grabbed my attention.
What have I been up to? Well, work has been very hectic in the run-up to the bank holiday. I am so glad it is the weekend, where I have family visiting and (hopefully) chocolate to be consuming. Either way it will be one of the more lively weekends in recent times. In the coming weeks (months) some works nights-out should be fun and with several video games on my ‘must complete’ list like Halo 4 (loving it) and back-burner titles like Dead Space 3 and Hitman Absolution, I have more than enough to keep me occupied. Also on the horizon are several yet to purchase titles that have recently come out (the previously mentioned Tomb Raider, and of course Gears Of War Judgement, God of War Ascension and Bioshock Infinite) … only more free time and endless money stops me from grabbing these at the earliest convenience.
Hope you all have a lovely Easter!!
Well it was my birthday on Wednesday. First and foremost I want to thank everyone who got me gifts, cards etc. Secondly I got the Kindle Fire HD! Yes my new gadget and what I am creating this post with right now.
Also received Dishonored on PS3 – first impressions? Wow. Will report back on that in the coming days. Also as an update on future posts on this blog, you can look out for reviews of the following: Headhunters on Blu-ray, Men In Black 3 and The Ides Of March (both via online rental services), as well as horror flick Fertile Ground. Technology it seems is moving on quick and fast and I am trying my best to keep up with it all. Some future reviews will be from online rental but of course I’ll still be watching Blu-ray, and visiting the cinema when the opportunity takes me.
For now though thanks to everyone again and I had a wonderful day.
I haven’t done a game impressions for a long time, and was sort of moving the blog away from gaming related posts (with a few exceptions) but I felt compelled to tell people my absolute love of the game Darksiders 2 by Vigil Games. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed fantasy adventure game, this follows the story of Death, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, who during the same time his brother War has destroyed mankind and struggles to right his own wrong (in Darksiders #1), Death is out to destroy Absalom from corrupting and destroying an alternate dimension. Ok, I probably didn’t have a clue what the story was, too side tracked by exploring beautiful dungeons and solving puzzles, collecting loot and upgrading my character with new outfits, weapons and abilities. The world presented to the player here is absolutely vast, made up of various realms, all of them huge and full of secrets and stacks of enemies. The balance however compared to similar games is just right … plenty of exploration, with bits of fighting thrown in, usually leading up to an encounter with a huge boss.
This kind of stuff is gaming gold for me, a gamer who prefers to explore, have time to think and not just brainlessly button bash his way through hoards of enemies until the credits roll. The world, with endless imagination is a wonder to behold, like a graphic-novel brought to life and hats off to the art team at Vigil for creating something truly awe-inspiring. Truly one of the best looking games on XBOX 360 (or PS3 for that matter).
I finished this just a few minutes ago, having clocked in a whopping 34 hours, and although I defeated the final boss, I can still go back and explore to my heart’s content, finish any left over side-quests or just download extra levels and pad out my time in the game even more. For now I think I’ll give it a little break, with several other games on my to-play list, but for now may I recommend Darksiders 2 to any gamer who is a fan of dungeon exploring, huge worlds, RPG elements and a few nods to the likes of God Of War and The Legend Of Zelda. This is quite simply one of the finest games I’ve played in a long time.
This blog has mostly moved away from reporting on video games in recent months, as I feel it isn’t really what I started this site up for. But every now and then I just feel the need to tell the world about certain games. Jet Set Radio (aka Jet Grind Radio) is one such beast, newly released last week on XBOX Live Arcade and Playstation Network, this HD re-make of the Sega Dreamcast original has thankfully for me, lost none of its magic. The game has you as a member of a street gang who travel around a cartoon version of Tokyo claiming their turf by spraying graffiti and chasing off rival gangs, whilst at the same time avoiding the Police (or Army, or Assassins).
Developed by the now defunct Smilebit and released by Sega in 2001, this is a game with a very unique identity. The game is just pure fun to play, challenging due to strict time limits and a quirky control method that takes a bit of getting used to – but for about £5 this is a steal and worth every penny. The game is also huge with various vibrant districts to skate around and just enjoy exploring, and the cast of characters are pure Japanese brilliance. Now the icing on this wonderful cake is also its bubble-gum pop soundtrack that mixes dance, techno, rock and synth wonderfully to create a possibly bonkers gaming vibe.
The HD re-release looks gorgeous. The graphics are very colourful and the art design has not dated at all. Ok there are a few low-res textures, pop-in rears its head (as it did in the Dreamcast version) and glitches and a few audio stutters do occur. These could all have been addressed, but this is still far from a lazy port. In widescreen on a big TV it all just looks stunning and with a silky smooth frame rate – I couldn’t help but be blown away all over again.
The 2nd greatest game I have ever played (next to Half-Life 2). Essential for any ‘true’ gamer’s collection.
- ‘Jet Set Radio’ HD Reboot Heading to iOS Now Too (toucharcade.com)
- Jet Set Radio HD announced for Android (androidcommunity.com)
- Jet Set Radio HD review: Anything less than the best is a felony, and JSR is the best (digitaltrends.com)
- Sega Announces Plans To Bring Dreamcast Classic Jet Set Radio To Android And iOS (cultofmac.com)
- Jet Set Radio HD Review (godisageek.com)
Now readers of this blog will attest that I am a huge fan of the Half-Life series; first person sci-fi shooters with unrivalled gameplay, storylines and immersion, where you play as scientist Gordon Freeman as he gets mixed up in an alien invasion. Half-Life 2 remains the benchmark by which all story-based first person shooters should be judged, and even though Valve originally promised a trilogy of spin-off episodes … to date they have only delivered two, leaving audiences on a cliff hanger at the end of episode 2. That was four years ago, and what have we had since? NOTHING. Valve will not confirm or deny the existence of another Half-Life game in development, and although rumours have swept the internet of possibly Half-Life 2: Episode 3 being announced, or even more excitedly, Half-Life 3, we still have a wall of silence from Valve. This is simply not good enough in my opinion, and I’m beginning to resent Valve’s attitude not only to the beloved gaming series, but also to its loyal fan-base.
Over on Valve’s own Steam community forums, a group has been started asking for more communication from Valve on the subject, stating they do not want to rush the development of the next Half-Life, but would like to know at the very least, that another Half-Life is in development. Other developers are only too happy to shout about their games, and Valve’s famous secrecy has begun to grate. I can see such behaviour back firing on the developer, as when the next Half-Life does come out, it will only be its loyal fans that take notice, and the majority of the gaming community, drip fed on yearly Call Of Duty games will not even understand its significance. Which would be a huge shame, because to date, Half-Life 1, 2 and the two episodes have delivered supremely entertaining gaming, and if Valve were to deliver the next Half-Life to the same standard, if not better – then once again, we’d all have to sit up and take notice. Let’s hope we still care when and if that happens.
- Operation Crowbar: A Half-Life 3 Initiative (oxcgn.com)
- Half-Life Fans Demand Answers of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- Valve: Any Half-Life 3 clues are ‘community trolling the community’ (joystiq.com)
- Valve writer shoots down Half-Life 3 rumors (inquisitr.com)