Posts Tagged ‘video games’

E3 2016 – My Highlights (Xbox)

July 2, 2016

Well another E3 has passed, people have been wetting themselves with excitement.  Amongst all of the hype and bling here are the few things I’ve taken away from the event focusing on the Xbox presentation:

Battlefield 1 is looking better and better with each trailer, this is one game on my definite buy list for the year.  I am hoping this may be the year BF kills Call of Duty which has grown more stale and less fun each year since it’s glory days.bf1

Titanfall 2 – This looks awesome and with free DLC maps this is sure to be a hit.

Dead Rising 4 is coming, I liked the original but this probably won’t be a purchase for me.

Forza Horizon 3 – This looks amazing, another game I would like to purchase.  I just hope the music soundtrack falls more in line with FH1 than 2 as  that was a great soundtrack.

ID@Xbox – Always like to see what comes from here but there is a lot of crap to  sort through to find the gems.  However ‘We Happy Few’ really has taken my interest, this game looks very creepy but exciting.

xbox-one-sXbox One S – Don’t get me wrong, this looks great and I love the fact the size has been reduced and the power pack is in built.  I however have very little interest in 4K TV at the moment so it’s not for me, although I do know many people foaming at the mouth in anticipation of it’s release.

Project Scorpio – This was the big news for me, what is going to be the next generation of Xbox console for Microsoft and boy have they made it powerful.  They clearly stated it would not be the death of the Xbox One but Iscorpio-2 assume it will be purely backwards compatible with games as opposed to being able to play Xbox one players with better graphics.  The cost is an unknown at this stage and also it makes me wonder if this will just push Sony to delay their next console until the can make it better, however history has shown (as with the Xbox 360) that first out of the gate can gain a massive market advantage, so here’s hoping.

 

 

 

Xbox One Mini Game Reviews 2

March 23, 2014

Since my post back in November 13 I have had the opportunity to play many of the Xbox One releases, (note to the wife I haven’t bought all of these so don’t worry).  I therefore thought I’d continue my mini reviews on these more recent games.

Need For Speed Rivals

nfs

I have enjoyed most of the need for speed series that involved the police, often enjoying the police role more than the criminals.  I didn’t look to play this in the first few weeks of the console release as the previews I have seen did not look particularly spectacular when it came to the graphics.  I have since had the opportunity to play this and I have to say I am a little disappointed.  The game unfortunately relies on playing on the server along with other ‘real’ players, this however means that it can take what seems like ten minutes to join games.  This is incredibly frustrating as I rarely get to have a quick game as it takes so long for the game to get started.  The gameplay is your standard NFS affair, it is fast and fun, however on a next gen console you expect it to sparkle more, the game just feels like a last gen game.  It is fun don’t get me wrong but it just doesn’t feel like it warrants the full purchase price on the latest gen console.  The multiplayer is also flawed.  After waiting ages to be thrown into a random lobby there is up to 6 other real players, however they can be any variation on number of cops to criminals, therefore you can be outnumbered 5 to 1.  Also there is no real placement near to the other competitors and you can spend ages trying to track down the other players so there is no real sense of multiplayer.  Overall this game is fun to play if you treat it as a solo player game but the multiplayer aspect just outright fails and this game is a very last gen game.

Rating 6/10

Titanfall

TF-Panoramic-Overwatch (1)This game was the triple A, Microsoft exclusive title many Xbox gamers were waiting for and also the game that has persuaded some to buy the Xbox.  It won a record number of awards at E3 last year and had many chomping at the bit to play.  Created by the new development team ‘Respawn’ which was made up of many ex Call of Duty developers.  With this team behind it, it was always going to create a lot of interest.  I have to admit I was not entirely excited about this game initially, to me it just looked like COD from the trailers and reviews I had seen, however this all changed with the release of the beta.  I like many millions played the two maps available in the beta and I was hooked.  It plays and looks very much like COD but it is just better.  Whilst not as ground breaking as many had touted, it’s fast pace and fluidity was something that just worked.  The merging of the mech robots with the standard pilots works extremely well and it is just fun to play.  Unlike the elitist nature of COD the inclusion of two levels of AI competitors in this multiplayer only game make it accessible for pros and noobs alike.  If like me you are not that great then you can rack up the points killing this AI.  It is not too complicated to set up your player load outs as there are no where near as many guns/settings to choose from but this just makes it better.  They have tried to incorporate a multi-player campaign but this basically consists of a mini story to go along with just playing the random game types across a number for the available maps.  Whilst this is a nice addition, once you have played as both the IMC and Militia (the good guys and the bad) there is no real need to return to the campaign.  This game doesn’t necessarily look like a new gen game but it most definitely plays like one and is probably why the game has been the cross platform number one for the past few weeks.

Rating 9/10

Rayman Legends

This review is very short, this is basically the addictive Rayman game we have come to love over the years, been under a rock for the past two decades, then it is a cutesy colourful platformer.  This game is still addictive as ever and is a relatively low price on the new gen raymanconsoles.  I absolutely love it but as a new gen game I have to say, it looks barely any different to the last gen version and the gameplay is no different to Rayman Origins, however if you liked that then you will like this too.

Rating 7/10

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare

pvz

This game has been a real surprise to me!  I liked the look of it after seeing many previews but I thought “This is just a first person shooter for kids” and with me owning a few FPS’s already I didn’t want to own another.  I have however today had the opportunity to play this game after it was named as the next Frugal Gaming Xbox One game night game and I have to say it is brilliant.  The characters are funny, and yes whilst it is obviously aimed at the younger generations it is being loved by the older generations too.  It is basically a defender game where as the plants you must defend your garden vs. the ever increasing numbers of Zombies.  Unlike the mobile version of these games it is more like a first person shooter with a mix of hoard mode thrown in for good measure.  What raises this game though is the fantastic multiplayer where you and up to 24 others can all play in the defending battle to take supremacy in the various gardens.  A highly enjoyable and  funny for all ages.

Rating 8/10

Xbox One: First Week, Mini Game Reviews (Updated 16/12/13)

November 30, 2013

Here is my brief run down of a few of the games available on the Xbox One on day one with comments on their use of the Kinect functionality.

Killer Instinct

killerinThis is a free to play Beat’em up available from the Xbox Live store.  I downloaded this as it was free, I am not really a major beat’em up fan.  I have of course dabbled in the worlds of Street Fighter and more recently the Mortal Kombat update.  When I downloaded this I didn’t expect much, it was free with one character and the option to purchase more as time rolls on.  This game looks very clean, crisp and the frame rate is perfect.  It is extremely fast and from the little time I have had with it I think any beat’em up fans should definitely look into it.  With more characters coming as time goes on (for a fee) this may be the only beat’em up you need. 7/10

UPDATE: After having played this a lot more I feel that this game is very good however there does not seem to be a career mode so until all the characters are released I cannot see this game keeping anyone’s interest.

Kinect Sports Rivals: Preseason (Demo)

sportsI owned both the Kinect Sports games on the previous Xbox360 and they were probably the best Kinect games you can get, I was therefore very interested to see what the new Kinect could achieve with this edition of Kinect Sports.  The demo consists of just the wake racing (jet skis to you and I) and I have to say it is very impressive.  The Kinect controls are very responsive, it looks great in it’s amazing bright colours.  You also have to be very impressed with the tech, a simple clasp of the right hand accelerates with a pull of your right and left hands to turn, plus a lean to make a sharper turn.  If the other sports that will come with this release next year are anywhere near as fun and accurate with the Kinect, then this will be the Kinect title to own, with an avatar created from a quick scan of your body the future of this tech seems endless. 7/10

Ryse: Son of Rome

ryseThis Xbox exclusive game when seen in numerous gaming shows appeared to be a just a game full of quick time events.  Whilst there are quite a few quick time events, this is not a bad thing.  The game looks amazing, the fighting is smooth. quick and gory.  The quick time events are interactive and I feel are great.  The game also has a decent story.  If you are looking for a game to show off the graphical capabilities of next gen, then this is the game for you.  I have yet to try the multi-player aspect of this game but from reading numerous reviews I think this will raise my feelings of this game to an all new level, competing in massive roman colleseums against other online players sounds amazing.
Kinect:  This game has the choice of using voice commands along the way, there is nothing major being used here but it is a nice addition. 8/10

UPDATE: After having played almost all of the story mode I have to lower my original rating. The story mode is compelling and is one of the best stories I have played through, however the fighting is too repetitive.  The graphics and story I feel are just enough to keep you playing but if it wasn’t for the story you just would bore of the gameplay.  Therefore I am dropping my rating to 7/10.

FIFA 14

fifaNow this game was a surprise to me, having owned it on the Xbox360 I wasn’t expecting much, other than to continue my perhaps unhealthy addiction.  However upon first booting up this game I could not believe what I was seeing.  It felt like a completely different game.  The players look real, the stadiums look amazing.  The menus and loading is so much faster.  There are many new player animations all adding to the already great game.  The whole game just feels better, it is perhaps hard to explain exactly what is different, apart from the graphics of course, but the game just feels better.
Kinect: As with the 360 version you can use Kinect voice commands to make formation changes, substitutions, etc.  While not major it feels good to not have to exit to the menus every time you want to make a change and it is particularly useful whilst playing online when pauses are limited. 10/10

Forza 5

forzaI have always had an interest in driving games, but I have never been a fanatic or motor head.  Forza Horizon on the previous Xbox however got me to take an interest in this iteration of the Xbox exclusive franchise.  I was not a fan of Forza 4 as I felt whilst supposedly a simulator, it just wasn’t fun.  However in this generation the game feels amazing. from the vibrating triggers to the super shiny metal of the cars.  There is a lot to showcase the features of the new Xbox, from the utilisation of the cloud power, creating real drivers to race against based on the Xbox community (even when they are not online) to the head movement of Kinect.  This games just has the wow factor.  I can see this game getting the interest of non gamers interested in cars thanks to the realism and also the association with BBC’s Top Gear program.
Kinect: In Forza, Kinect can be used to get a better view to either side of you by simply turning your head to the left or right.  This can feel a little weird, looking forward whilst turning your head but once you get used to it, it is a nice little touch to an already very comprehensive game. 9/10

Call of Duty:Ghosts

codWell having owned this on the 360, and being a massive fan I was unsure how I would feel about this version of the game.  All I can really say is that if you like COD you won’t be disappointed, but if you are expecting anything particularly ground breaking, you will be disappointed.  I immediately jumped into the multiplayer as I always do these days and it does look much better than the previous gen, the level of detail of the characters, buildings and dogs is fantastic.  All helping to make this a great game.  The campaign also looks great and from what I have seen so far it is a standard COD affair with amazing set pieces and explosive moments.  However with all COD games the premise is starting to wear a little thin so I am unsure how this will sell.  The new gen version does have the advantage of dedicated servers, meaning no more lag due to others internet connections, or game migration as the host has quit, which is a definite benefit of moving to the new gen version, however apart from this there is no real difference from the last gen, but there was nothing wrong with that so you can’t complain. 7/10

UPDATE: I am inclined to drop my rating of COD due to the poor maps, they are all of a similar colour bar one and it just doesn’t feel as exciting as previous editions.  At this stage I have no desire to sign up to the season pass unless there are some signs that the new maps will introduce something that looks different from the other maps.  Also compared to BF4 this just feels like a substandard game, so with great disappointment I am lowering this score to 6/10.

Battlefield 4

bf4Now battlefield has always been a beautiful looking game and like COD there isn’t a huge difference between the current gen and last gen versions.  However the graphics are amazing, unlike COD there is such a look of realism it is astounding.  With the term ‘Levolution’ being used to describe the massive events that can occur during multiplayer games this is a game that will just astound, whether playing or watching.  The campaign has been criticised yet again, however I am enjoying what I have seen so far and just see it as another great feature of this game.  If you want a quick game I will always revert to COD but for when you have more time on your hands I will always revert to battlefield for a truly epic game.
Kinect: Kinect is used very well in this game, whilst not intrusive it provides some nice little touches for a more enjoyable experience.  Team commands can be said, which get spoken by the in game characters, and whilst aiming down your sight, a slight lean to the left or right will make the character lean, useful when looking around corners, overall these are nice little touches to this great game. 9/10

Far Cry 3–Greatest Game Ever?

September 14, 2013

So after many months I finally completed Far Cry 3’s main storyline today.  This is a game that for some reason dropped in price very quickly, it received many great reviews but I can only assume the sales were not as expected and thus the price fell quickly.

pnl_mex_farcry3In my opinion this game contains everything you’d want from a game.  The game is taken from the first person perspective of Jason Brody.  The game consists of many different elements, each of which is done to an extremely high standard.

The story is gripping, drawing you into ‘just playing a little bit longer’.  The story also has a few branches with choices you can make which will affect how the story plays out.

The game has elements of first person shooting, some truly exhilarating driving, hand gliding all across the beautiful island.  When I say this game is beautiful I have to reference ‘Red Dead Redemption’, that game at the time was an amazingly picturesque game.  Far Cry takes that beauty and cranks it up another ten notches.  Checkout my Youtube channel for clips of the island.

Not only does the game have a compelling story line but there are also numerous side missions, plus tasks you can come back to during or even after the main story is completed.  I quite often will complete a game’s main mission and not bother with any of these tasks but with Far Cry, it is just another excuse to explore the island.  There are also numerous hunting missions, with numerous animals you can hunt and kill which can then be used to craft items to help you in the game.

The number of weapons is also huge with various customisation options.  There are also many side missions of differing types, from taking over enemy bases to allow your allies to set up camp (plus providing you with a new area of the island to fast travel too), wanted poster missions located at the taken over sites, medical missions consisting of driving at extreme speed through check points in buggies and quad bikes plus many more.Far-Cry-3-hangglider

There are also missions to take down radio towers which not only are fun and challenging but also give you awesome views of various sections of the island.

Never have I played a game that has such a wide range of activities done so well and in such a great setting.  Similarities can be drawn with GTA and Red Dead Redemption but this game just seems to do everything in a more crisp, gorgeous way.

After having finishing the main story and still wanting to continue playing this game I can not recommend a game to friends more highly.

Gaming, Facebook and Twitter – Going Cold Turkey! (1 Week Offline) – Day 5

June 29, 2013

Day 5

quit-chewing-tobacco-cold-turkey

Well it has been a pretty uneventful week off of the Xbox.  No irritation, no getting moody, which was a surprise.  There have been moments of slight boredom but I have always quickly found something to occupy my time.

Despite having to correct a couple of my friends and family that despite some apps and this blog auto posting to Facebook, I haven’t actually been on Facebook.

Initially the hardest part from this week off was surprisingly not posting to Facebook and Twitter, there were times I would normally reach for my mobile to post, such as when bored on my commute to work but I quickly realised that by logging out of both apps it made it much easier to realise what I was doing and quickly shut it back down again.

Now my time off of Xbox had not been hard at all, there have of course been times where I have thought I would fancy a quick game of Call of Duty but I have quickly found something else to do instead.  I have managed to finish the book I had only just started a month ago which I really enjoyed and I have also started the fourth book in a series I have been reading over the past year which I am really enjoying.

So this week, so far has not been too hard at all, today being Saturday and tomorrow will be the real test as I am not working but I am not worried.  I have found that what originally prompted me to start this week off has actually improved.  I was finding that even when not playing I was thinking about playing or posting videos to YouTube of my gameplay.  This over the course of the week has diminished, it hasn’t gone completely (I am not expecting miracles) but it has stopped distracting me from more important things in my life.

So I have two and a half days to go, it has been a revealing week and I am pleased I took the decision to do this as I have benefitted from it, also through pure luck my self-imposed ban does end the day before the new Call of Duty map packs are released and the new free game is released on Xbox Live but both of these are pure coincidence (to back this up I have yet to play the last free game they released).

I think I will do one more post on this topic when the ban is lifted unless of course anything major happens over this weekend, but I seriously doubt there will be anything to report.

Thanks for reading and please follow if you have enjoyed any of my posts!

Next Gen Consoles – Thoughts So Far! Part 2

June 13, 2013

Well after a few days of E3 there has been a ton of announcements and news around the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft.  Many of which are starting to make me confused and concerned as a current Xbox fan boy.

xbox one vs ps4

Sony has by far come out on top of the initial bout of “my console is better than yours”.  I have owned PlayStations in the  past but have had an Xbox360 for the last decade.  The major blow came as Sony announced their console price is £80 cheaper in the UK than the Xbox One.  I really want to stay with Xbox but with so far no backward compatibility for hardware confirmed there is no apparent reason to remain loyal to Xbox.

It has already been confirmed that neither system will play last gen discs.  But what about my existing controllers and headsets?  It has already been noted that the controller ‘s connectors are different but will there be adaptors available?

The cheaper price for the PlayStation also means non hard-core gamer friends are likely to go for this cheaper option.

The Xbox has come under much fire for it’s pre owned game policy and it’s connection policy which is a concern for  many.  At this point in time I have to admit I am starting to lean towards joining the PlayStation nation however there is a lot of time for Xbox to regain my loyalty.

As far as I understand Xbox will be better for online gaming with it’s 300k server system, it will also have many useful Kinect features, previously wasted due to developers not bothering due to not all owners having Kinect.

But Xbox need  to make consumers unlike myself, who do not have time to read every detail of the specs and news, see why it is worth the extra cash for what a casual gamer sees as a similar system to the PlayStation.

Xbox does seem to have a better launch line up but to casual gamers it probably won’t be enough.

Round one to Sony, bring on round 2.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Weapon Excel Stats Sheet

November 30, 2011


This is a sortable, colour coded excel spreadsheet for CODMW3 that makes finding your ideal Primary/Secondary weapon a whole lot easier.

Includes numerous stats colour coded for the best one in each category.  Excel 2007 onwards is required for the colour coding.

CODMW3 Weapon Stats Spreadsheet

Video Games The Big Rip Off

November 29, 2011

As an avid Xbox gamer I love the hype surrounding new games and on rare occasions I will be someone who pre-orders games. I am however growing ever more concerned at the increasing ways companies are squeezing extra money out of the consumers.


Now in the last year more and more games have started to charge for use of their multiplayer servers. You usually get a free code with the game however if you purchase the game preowned or hire it you are more than likely not going to be able to play online without forking out around £5. Now whilst annoying I see this as fair. I do hire games and if I don’t have to pay to get online then the company is going to make little if not any money from my playing of their game which they have invested time and money into and I still have the option to not play online.

Download content DLC has been an increasing concern. Whilst on only one occasion have I purchased DLC it has become evident that companies are already setting out to squeeze more money out of you before the game has even been released.

Now whilst I can bare DLC that come out months after a games release to inject a new lease of life into a game you may have grown tired of, there is an ever increasing amount of DLC that is available from day one of a games release. Why couldn’t this have been included on the disc, if it is so good why wasn’t it?

This is purely a money spinner. When someone is having to fork out between £30 (for the savvy shopper) or £50 full price for a game, why should they then have to pay another £10 for some kind of extra feature? Also does this not also mean the companies will hold back on the good content in the main release just to entice us to part with even more of our money?

Another of these money spinners displayed in FIFA is the “Ultimate Team” game. This is a nice add on whereby players compete to earn virtual cash to buy packs of players and features to boost their teams performance. This however falls down when you see that you do not ‘have’ to work for these rewards but can instead purchase virtual coins to buy better packs and therefore better players. This then leaves all the spoilt little oiks freely boosting their team to make a team even a beginner can win with. What about us people who already stretched our budgets to the limit to just buy the game. Ok you can argue that maybe this adds to the game’s realism just like Man. City can buy their way to the top of the Premier league, these little oiks can too. But doesn’t this take away from the awesome competitive game this premise was built upon?

FIFA, I can live with as there are ways to boost your team through pure skills so the poor can make a slow climb to glory. However the next in my list of money squeezing issues is the new Call of Duty Elite Premium package.

COD has for a long time now had new maps released post game release to play multiplayer in. This injects new life into a game that you may have tired of. The free Elite service is very impressive with numerous stats and logs of your game play which is very surprising for the stat geeks like myself. However for the premium package which includes a few extras is the £30+ price tag fair?


Those who are good enough join clans. But now to do this you must be an Elite premium member. Ok fair play, it’s only going to be the hardcore gamers who want this. But then you see that to get all the monthly releases of DLC including new maps you need to pay this extra premium which in my case if I wanted it would mean paying the equivalent of the game all over again! Plus there is no guarantee as to what content will come and when. Maps, yes I have an interest in but I don’t want anything else. £30 for a game is ok, £50 a little steep, but £60-£80 is just ridiculous. If this new offering is a success you can be sure that the other companies will follow and where does that leave us gamers, poor or lacking content in past days would have been included.

I just hope this is not the start of the way things will progress going forward.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

EA Games – No Manuals?!

October 2, 2011


I received my copy of FIFA 12 for Xbox and the game is amazing. Within the box it stated the manual was available in game. It also stated it was available online instead of accompanying the game in a supposed environmental effort from EA games.

After reviewing the in game manual which had a few useful pointers I wanted some more in depth information so went to the the specified website.

What I found was a list of two FIFA 12 related guides however there was no English option!

I have scoured the Internet and whilst I have found some fan guides I have yet to find the official manual. I have even tweeted the company, however they seems to be dealing with quite a few initial launch issues, so I don’t think the manual will be appearing anytime soon.

Whilst I understand most game manuals are pretty obsolete, I have always found the FIFA guides useful so to remove the manual under the guise of an environmental move is bad enough. But to not have one of the most widely spoken languages of the world not available as a guide seems pretty slack. Come on EA, usually I cannot fault you but this is pretty poor.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone