Welcome everyone, to the first of what I hope will become an annual event on this blog – my review of the gaming industry in the year that was 2011. On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to have consistently updated this blog throughout the year, and thank you to everyone who has supported it via constructive criticism, or even things as simple as comments and views – I hope to continue in a positive form next year. But alas, the world is bigger than myself, and that is what the focus is in this article.
It wouldn’t be a massive exaggeration to claim that this has been the biggest year for games in ages, certainly since the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2006. The overall calibre of games has been on a notable rise this year, with a handful becoming instant classics, and the industry as a whole has advanced even further to consolidate its place as a genuine rival to the other great entertainment mediums such as film. That is not to say the year has been devoid of mistakes and mess-ups; amongst the success stories, there are a quite a few cock-ups that are well worth mentioning. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Video Game Land Review Of 2011
Just a quick news update this week rather than a fleshed out set of bulletins – I’m sorry there hasn’t been much review wise lately, but I’ve been literally inundated with an assignment, and a mixture of Skyrim & Persona 4 being played simultaneously means I wont be getting any games finished in a hurry. I’ll will improve my efforts in mid December hopefully.
And without further ado, the headlines at 9pm:
- It’s Black Friday! You know, that holiday that no-one in Great Britain actually celebrates….but anyway, Black Friday means deals on games, and this year is hasn’t been as good as last year frankly. Whereas stuff like ‘Splosion Man was going for just 80 MSP last year, this year the deals have been kind of crap. But don’t worry, as ever Steam has had a ridiculous sale this week, and if you are quick you might be able to catch the last few deals before Saturday comes around.
- Microsoft have been busy this week denying claims in The Sun that Xbox Live has been hacked. To confirm, this does appear to be usual tabloid sensationalist bulls**t, as they are talking about simple phishing scams, and if you are smart with your details (or just use prepaid cards) you won’t be having any problems. On a happier note, we have a confirmed date for the new 360 dashboard update – hook up to Xbox Live on December 6th, and you’ll have the new interface, based on Windows 7 phones, to play with. I don’t really see the need for it, but getting the free stuff like 4OD, Youtube and BBC IPlayer on at long last will be welcome.
- Ah Skyrim, how you continue to hold secrets for all of us. Some of the keener eyed players may have noticed a road that leads to seemingly nowhere on the bottom left corner of the map, and this week an intrepid PC gamer used no-clip mode to go through the path, and found himself in familiar areas…yep, Bethesda actually included the landmass of Morrowind and Cyrodill, the areas where the third and fourth Elder Scrolss games took place. The landmass is very low detail, but its inclusion in the game suggests there may well be DLC expansions going into the familiar territory – I would personally love to stomp around Cyrodill again as the Dragonborn.
- You may well have forgotten that Minecraft was coming to Xbox Live this Winter, but don’t worry – it will not be coming for Winter. Instead, the enormously successful indie project will be now arriving in Spring 2012 for the Xbox 360 on Xbox Live Arcade. To celebrate, the development team behind the game released this very tongue-in-cheek trailer showing the dynamic action of Minecraft. I may well actually get into this one day; it reminds me of the simple joys of having Lego and building stuff as a kid.
- The Versus Booster Pack is now available for Gears Of War 3. If you are unaware, Epic Games very kindly have made the five maps that came with the recent Horde Command Pack free for everyone to download, although you won’t get the benefits of the Command Pack, such as the achievements and Horde upgrades, via the Booster Pack.
- Finally, EA Sports have made a new signing, and he just so happens to be the best footballer on the planet – Lionel Messi, former cover star of rival franchise Pro Evolution Soccer, has made the jump for FIFA Street. It’s a shame then as a friend of my pointed out while playing FIFA 12, Messi only has four star skills in that game…I suspect it might get updated come January.
And that’s your lot, I hope you have a pleasant week ahead of you all.
Good day everyone – I’m currently in a library and taking a break from my work; time for a news update on all things gaming methinks.
- We start with a game that has been anticipated for quite some time now – Batman: Arkham City. As I write this article the game has become available on European shores, and if the reviews that have been flying around for it are any indication, it may well be sold out by the end of the day. It currently holds an unbelievable average score of 95 on Metacritic, four points ahead of its nearest competitors this year (in the form of Gears Of War 3, FIFA 12 and the ICO/Shadow Of The Colossus HD Collection) – all the more stunning when you realise that Arkham City is only the third game that Rocksteady Studios have ever produced. It may well be the case however that it soon gets knocked back a peg on the Metacritic scale – early reviews for Uncharted 3 have hinted at 97%, and The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword has earned a ridiculous 98% in a Nintendo publication. Seems I might have to readjust my scoring system again soon to deal with such high figures of praise.
- Bioware confirmed via its Twitter account today that Mass Effect 3 will be getting a demo in January 2012, showing off both elements of single and multiplayer action. It will be nice to see how the new multiplayer modes work before committing oneself to the purchase of the full game, and it has been heavily hinted at a beta as well. Considering the recent success of the Battlefield 3 open beta test, EA would be fools not to implement it
- The Soul Calibur series is well known for allowing characters from other series into its fighting action – Link turned up in Soul Calibur 2, and Yoda & Darth Vader showed up to kick ass and take names in Soul Calibur 4. And now, Ubisoft have got in on the action by letting Ezio Auditore of the Assassins Creed series make his way into the upcoming Soul Calibur 5. You can watch Ezio pull off some sweet moves in this official trailer video.
- A while back, I did a quick and informal review for the Sonic Generations demo that was available for a limited time on both PSN and the Xbox Live Marketplace. Well, now Sega have come back with a new and improved demo, that not only allows you to play as Classic Sonic in the Green Hill Zone again, but offers a new 3D take on the level as well as Modern Sonic rips up the course.
- Early sales reports show that FIFA 12 has outsold PES 2012 by a factor of 25 to 1 on a like-for-like opening weekend. How the times have changed…
- Guess what PS3 fans? You have ANOTHER HD collection coming your way! Confirming the rumours floating around, the Devil May Cry series is to indeed get the now standard HD update with trophy and achievement support. I guess this is as much to drive up anticipation for the series reboot, DmC, as it is to make profit. And while it will be nice to play DMC3 again (the only one I ever got my hands on), the more collections get confirmed the more I lose my faith that there is a sense of originality currently floating around the industry – the PS2 – (and only God knows how) isn’t even out of production yet, and yet we are getting so many remakes. That said, I would pay good money to have Vice City updated….
- Finally, to all those who were perhaps a bit unsatisfied by the storyline in Gears Of War 3, here is some news that might perk you up – the first piece of campaign DLC takes place before the original Gears Of War, and you get to play as General RAAM – you know, the ugly bastard that took so long to kill on Insane mode, with Kryll shields and all. I’m easily impressed, and have to say that this sounds like an ace proposition. ‘RAAM’s Shadow’ will be available exclusively on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 1200 points on December 13th 2011.
That’s your lot for now, and if you have picked up either Arkham City or the newly released Football Manager 2012, I hope you have an enjoyable weekend. I leave you with the 1960’s Batman theme as celebration. NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA…….
GEARS OF WAR 3 (2011) – EPIC GAMES
If you happened to observe some of the advertising around September for Gears Of War 3, you may have noticed something; the repetitive focus on the phrase ‘Brothers To The End’. Epic Games made it clear very early on that this was to be the last Gears Of War game (in this story arc at least)…but how does one send off such a successful franchise with a bang? With a mixture of intensive preparation and refinement and plenty of cannon fodder to murderise of course. After an extensive beta in the summer, people have been on the edge of their seats in anticipation for this game – the question is, is it worth the wait and 40 of your hard earned pounds? Continue reading An Epic End To A Epic Trilogy – Gears Of War 3 Review
It seems strange that barely a year ago I was stood outside of my local Gamestation branch with some friends eagerly waiting to get our hands on Halo Reach – time has indeed gone very quickly indeed. Tonight, I will be getting my first new game since FIFA 11 last year, and that game of course is going to be Gears Of War 3, the final part of Epic Games sci-fi cover shooter trilogy. If anyone else if going to be braving the elements (and the drunks) around the UK tonight, I hope you all get a copy. With regards to prices, it seems pretty stable at the moment across the board, with no-one willing to budge from the RRP of around £39.99 – GAME and HMV are doing trade in offers with Dead Island, and you’ll be able to get 10% off at certain Gamestation stores if you are a student.
As a final note, I’ve read that the install size for the disc will be about 7.2 GB, making it one of the first games to come out on the new DVD format discs that Microsoft are introducing. Best clear some HDD space then. Anyway, happy hunting Gears fans.
It’s typical. I decide to delay the news for one day, and then EA amongst others drop multiple bombs at the GamesCom conference in Germany. Oh well, means I’ve got more to write about – and believe me, this stuff is sehr gut (very good, as the Germans would say). Let’s crack on:
- The most pertinent thing to discuss is Battlefield 3, and how it has played a massive trump card today. After announcing the addition of co-op gameplay (which seem to be missions separate from the main storyline retaining all the features of normal gameplay) and demonstrating a mission live to the GamesCom audience, they showed off some frankly unbelievable multiplayer footage: the amount of stuff going on in the video is crazy, featuring your standard gun and run action, but with plenty of tanks and other vehicles to keep you occupied.
After a long summer lull where Zumba Fitness has enjoyed a jaw-dropping eight weeks at the top of the game charts, the games industry explodes this fall in what must be said is the most promising, and certainly one of the most competitive, winter seasons for gaming in many years. There are some absolutely top quality titles coming out, and quite simply in this article I am counting down my Top 20 most eagerly anticipated games for the next few months.
20 – Need For Speed: The Run – 15th November
Once upon a time, Need For Speed was the undisputed king of the Christmas sales list; the two Underground games and the fantastic Most Wanted dominated their respective years, but then the series took a turn for the worse with Carbon, before ProStreet (which I had completely forgotten existed) and Underground performed poorly. Criterion’s reboot last year, Hot Pursuit, was a welcome return to form, and now we have The Run, the first game in the series to include on foot segments. Hopefully it will continue Criterion’s good work. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Top 20 Most Anticipated Games For Winter 2011
Courtesy of Xbox360acheivements.org, I can present to you today the achievement list for the game which will usher in a a Fall season of excellent games, and that game is Gears Of War 3. I warn you in advance of potential spoilers from acheivement names for story related progress, but a quick look at the list shows that Epic have divided the game up quite nicely into story, mutliplayer, Horde and Beat modes. And for the hardcore, we have the much anticipated ‘Seriously 3.0’ achievement: it is not to get a million kills as one may expect, but rather to get to level 100 and earn all Onyx medals in multiplayer. Best prepare for another long haul then…
Check out the list at the following link and tell me what you think. If you excuse me, I’ll go rev up the Lancer…