Yesterday, I saw a news headline that nearly made me spit out the hot beverage I was drinking at the time:
Yes, you just read that right. Guinness World Records, an institution that has been going since seemingly the start of time, has decided to award the title of ‘Best Game Ending Ever’ to Activision’s 2010 smash hit. The process by which this decision was reached? Ask 13,000 people in a poll.
Now, there are a few things that are at fault here. First off, the notion of setting a world record (let that phrase roll around in your mind as to its significance) by qualitative means, as pointed out by a sharp member of the Gaming Society I help run, is inherently stupid. Records are set by measures of time, distance, speed etc. – not someone’s personal opinion. More importantly, the conclusion they came to is wrong – are you seriously kidding me? Black Ops, with its relatively predictable conclusion, the best ending ever? Nonsense. And then I got to thinking…what would be my Top 10 Best Game Endings of all time? I smell a list incoming… Continue reading Top Ten…Best Game Endings
It’s news roundup time everybody!
- This week marks the moment when all of you who rushed off to buy a 3DS at full price get rewarded with your 10 free NES Ambassador Games. The full list is as follows:
A mix of some well known titles and some less recognisable ones there. From what I’ve read around the internet, it seems that actually finding the games on the 3DS eShop is a pain, and that the games have been quite poorly ported. Remember Ambassadors, when the games become available for everyone else with a 3DS (at a price of course), you can re-download the games with updated features like restore points.
- Zumba Fitness’ reign of terror at the top of the sales chart is over! The new king of the UK charts is Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the action RPG developed by Eidos which has had some outstanding reviews from the Press. Just for the record, Zumba Fitness was number one for 10 whole weeks, meaning it fell just short of the undisputed record held by FIFA: Road To The World Cup. Also, Deus Ex sold 2 to 1 on the Xbox 360 compared to the PS3.
- In a very surprising turn of events, Team Bondi, the developers behind LA Noire, have gone into administration. It has been suggested that they have had a fall-out with publishers Rockstar Games, but where on earth is all the profit that LA Noire made then? Bizzare….and very sad to see another studio threatened with closure.
- And speaking of Rockstar, they have announced the release date for the free ‘Myths And Mavericks’ DLC for Red Dead Redemption that I posted about a while back. It will be on September 13th and will add amongst other things new locations for multiplayer modes and Landon Ricketts as a multiplayer skin.
- For those of you who already own Dead Rising 2 and think that Dead Rising: Off The Record is just a lazy rehash on Capcom’s behalf may have new reason to buy it. This week Capcom announced that a ‘Sandbox’ mode, with no time limits, will be implemented into Off The Record, allowing the unlimited zombie killing spree that I’m sure many fans have requested since the original Dead Rising. Good stuff.
- Pro Evolution Soccer has a new player to grace its covers, and that man is Cristiano Ronaldo, who replaces Lionel Messi. Not really news is it? I suppose that kind of reflects PES in microcosm – no-one really cares anymore.
I’ll be posting my next review, Gears Of War, sometime over the weekend. In the meantime, have a great weekend.
Have some bits and bobs of news
- (Breaking news as I write) COUNTER STRIKE IS COMING TO XBOX LIVE ARCADE – yep, you heard me right. The game will be called Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and will feature updated versions of maps that have become synonymous with the game, such as de_dust, as well as new game modes and leaderboards. Coming early 2012. Well, can a 12 year old game ignite Xbox Live like it has the PC world?
- I like what Codemasters have been doing with the F1 franchise since they got the license; F1 2010 was an excellent start, F1 2011 looks simply gorgeous, and today they announced a new title in the form of a free to play management simulation. F1 Online will feature all the cars, drivers and tracks from the sport, and will allow you to manage a team throughout an entire season, complete with qualifying and practice sessions, while dealing with all the hidden duties of managing an F1 team, such as conducting research and financing teams. You will also have the opportunity to create your own teams and liveries if the pre set teams aren’t up to your liking. I’m never going to own an F1 team, so this is the next best thing – and it sounds ace. More news on it should be available soon from the GamesCom conference to be held next week.
- And speaking of GamesCom, EA have said they will reveal the date that the FIFA 12 demo will be available for download on Xbox 360 and PS3 next week. We usually get details of the soundtrack with the demo as well, so that’s something else to look forward to.
- And speaking of EA (see what I did there?), news for those who want to play Battlefield 3 on your PC’s this winter – you have to download EA’s digital distribution service, Origin, if you want to buy the game online. This will come as a great annoyance to those who wanted the game on Steam, easily the most popular digital distributor of games available at this time, as EA are allowing the game on other digital distributors services – just not Valve’s. Obviously you can see why EA have taken this decision, as they want the maximum profit from the game, and this can come through them charging the price rather than Valve (EA’s news pitch cites the limitations for DLC and patches as the main reason for not being on Steam), but I wonder if limiting the audience is wise if they truly want to challenge Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which will be available through Steam.
- And speaking of Call OF Duty (I’ll stop doing this now…sorry), more news has come about the upcoming ‘Rezurrection’ map pack for Black Ops. The big selling point here of course is that it is a purely all-zombies affair, featuring remakes of four World At War maps and a new proposition, where you fight zombies on the moon. People who bought the Hardened and Prestige copies of Black Ops will get the maps for free, and you also get the Zombies Soundtrack and a dashboard theme thrown into the deal. Not bad at all…if you don’t mind paying for needless remakes. If you didn’t buy the collectors editions it will cost you 1200 MS Points. It will be available on the 23rd August. Check this video for a behind the scenes look at the maps from the guys at Treyarch
- Rockstar are running a triple XP weekend for both Red Dead Redemption and its DLC expansion, Undead Nightmare. It will run from today until August 15th.
- Finally, THQ have made some footage of Saints Row: The Third available for people to see. It shows the second mission, where you fight a plane, engage in a freefall where you gun down rival gang members, before culminating in a ridiculous set piece where you hijack a plane which is flying straight for you…as OTT as you’d expect then, The footage is a few weeks old, but the news sites only seem to have got a hold of it these last two days for some strange reason
I’ve been on a roll as of late in updating my blog, so feel free to read my recent reviews such as Final Fantasy 9, where to get the Nintendo 3DS for cheap in the recent sales war, and my coverage of Skyrim from Quakecon. Comments and subscriptions as ever are very much welcome.
Have some delicious gaming news (relatively) hot off the press
- The big news for the week has been from Nintendo, who have announced big price cuts for its 3DS, the handheld console which was released earlier this year. On August 12th, the price in the US will drop from $249 to $169.99, while EU countries and the UK will get price cuts of ‘approximately one third’. This move comes after quite disappointing hardware sales of just 0.7 million units in the past three months, and 4.53 million units overall since its release in Japan in February, despite positive reviews for titles such as Ocarina Of Time 3DS. There have also been a recent spate of delays from 3DS games, including Metal Gear Solid 3DS, which have affected confidence in gamers looking to purchase a 3DS. Nintendo did rally back however, by telling everyone who has already bought a 3DS that they will be rewarded for their early support by getting 20 free games (10 NES titles including Super Mario Bros and The Legend Of Zelda, and 10 Game Boy Advance titles including Yoshi’s Island and Mario Kart: Super Circuit) if they connect to the Nintendo eShop before August 11th, and by announcing the release dates for two big 3DS titles; Super Mario 3D Land which will arrive in November, and Mario Kart 7 (previously called Mario Kart 3DS) which will be a December release. It’s certainly a bold move by Nintendo to cut prices so early in the console’s life span, clearly the 3DS hasn’t caught on as they would have hoped (compared to the DS which sold like hotcakes) and they have taken early evasive action. One wonders if the 3DS will be simply swamped out over the upcoming period of massive releases for home consoles though. Keep an eye on Nintendo’s balance sheets to see if it works out for them.
- 343 Industries, the people who are handling the eagerly awaited Halo Anniversary HD in Bungie’s wake, have showed off a video showing the new graphics engine in action, with a quick run through of the famous ‘Silent Cartographer’ level. I do have to admit that it looks bloody good, and the opportunity to switch between classic graphics and the HD remastery is a very impressive feature and really shows how much of an improvement has been made over the past decade. You can pick it up on November 15th, £34.99 RRP.
- Bioware have made some incredibly bold claims over the past week at Comic Con with regards to their upcoming MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. During an open panel, it was claimed that the game will still be going strong in 2025 (that’s over a decade away by the way), and that there will be over 500 world by that point; to put that into context there will be 19 main worlds when you get the game. Genuine aspiration or bullshit claims? I think the latter to be honest. It still hasn’t stopped people pre-ordering it by the shedload however, and it will no doubt be a challenger to World Of Warcraft in the short term at least. You can watch this video to see all the eight classes in action in game.
- Resident Evil 4 HD and Resident Evil: Code Veronica X HD have been given release dates and prices: they will be available in both digital and disc form on the 20th and 27th of September respectively, and will cost 1600 MSP on Xbox Live and £15.99 on PSN.
- In order to build up hype for Batman: Arkham City (as if it needed any), some viral videos have been released over the last few days. They involve Professor Hugo Strange interviewing several of the Dark Knight’s enemies, including The Penguin, The Riddler and The Joker (in a similar way to the patient tapes you could find in Arkham Asylum). Not much in the way of plot has been revealed by these tapes, but one can at least appreciate the quality voice acting, even if Penguin’s cockney accent is a bit strange to hear for the first time.
- As a reward to all its fans, Rockstar Games have announced that the excellent Red Dead Redemption will be getting another DLC pack in September; called ‘Myths and Mavericks’, it will involve new locations for multiplayer matches and reset the Undead Overrun multiplayer settings. Best of all, its free. Cheers Rockstar.
- Finally (no catchphrase intended), anyone who pre-orders WWE ’12, THQ’s upcoming wrestling game, will get The Rock as a bonus character. The Rock has been a regular character in every Smackdown vs Raw game, and one would assume he will become standard DLC once the game is released.
Tonight I will finally get round to posting up my review of Crash Team Racing, and I will get round to reviewing Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence some time this week. Cheers for reading.
A while back, I produced a Top 10 list of what I personally considered to be the hardest achievements to unlock on the Xbox 360. Today, the focus is still on the achievement system, but I will be looking at it from a different perspective, and analysing something that it not always guaranteed in the games industry: originality. The following achievements are excellent examples in my view of developers thinking outside the box and having a bit of fun, inviting gamers to do the same and in some cases setting a trend for other developers to follow. So with further ado, let’s get to the list
10 – Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga – Crowd Pleaser – Break Jar Jar 20 times – 20GS
The Lego Star Wars series has always emphasised fun above everything else. Sure there is usually a destination to get to as you aim to save the universe, but its too tempting not to engage in a impromptu lightsaber duel with your co-op friend, or hop in a vehicles and drive around. To top off a great game, Traveller’s Tales included the ‘Crowd Pleaser’ achievement, where you have to ‘break’ (remember, Lego doesn’t die, it just falls to pieces) Jar Jar Binks 20 times. If you know anything about the Star Wars prequels then you will be aware how hated Jar Jar is, and mercilessly destroying him over and over is a joy. Getting rewarded for it is just the icing on the cake. Continue reading Top 10…Most Original Achievements On The Xbox 360