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Anabub Blog

Dear Microsoft

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Dear Microsoft,

 

We have had some good times you and me. What you have given me this generation hasnt been matched from my first steps with Atari, right through the other console cycles, this has been the best of times.

I remember the first time I saw you, from a distance, across a crowded shop. I was instantly attracted to your white and green hues. I could feel the pull, the sheer electricity between us.

We started small with the free games I got with you and you introduced me to exciting experiences like cheevos (achievements) and threw me into online gaming, holding my hand and reassuring me that I would be safe and sound. You bought me friends, friends that are now more than that and are as much of my life as you were.

But youve changed over the years. Ive thought it was me at first. As a couple we grow together but it seems we are growing apart. I mean I can handle your always online decision, to me Im always online anyway but there are times like this weekend where when my connection goes down. But its ok as at the moment I can still feel your love regardless but thats going to change.

I can handle you having friends like kinect, but from now on hes going to be here all the time. What happens if say, in a fit of celebration, Im doing my famous, naked Helicopter and kinect is looking, just looking. I dont know what else its doing but its silent stare could be doing anything and frankly its coming between us.

But the reason Im writing this, with a tear in my eye, is because where once were shared now whats mine is no longer mine its yours. The games I bought for us to play together are no longer just that I just Borrow them from you and with that one move and with great sadness I have to say Im sorry but its over between us.

But what about your 100k+ achievement score you care so much about? I hear you say. Well Im sorry but I just dont care anymore* I may have found someone new. Some one who wants to share, who is open and free about what they do and how they do it. Im moving on and if you ever loved me I hope you understand that and the reasons why Im leaving you as Ive said in this letter.

There may still be time but every time you speak you just seem to make things worse.

 

Take care of yourself my dear friend

 

Lots of love

 

Anabub aka M0nkey Munch xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* May still care about cheevos for the minute ;)

Portal 2

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There are a few games that 'really' strike a cord with me I could probably name them on both hands and still have a digit or two left. One of those games was the orange box the bargain of the year as far as I was concerned. You got all the half life's, which even now are an astonishing accomplishment, Team fortress 2 and of course Portal.

For those not in the know Portal was originally a Half life mod from PC community … Valve loved it and got the guys in to flesh it out. The game was frankly a breath of fresh air for me, a rare treat in that I had never played anything like it. From glaDOS and her vocoded, sinister undertones and gentle mocking to the sheer mind bending application of a portal gun, it won me over.

Spring forward to this weekend when I purchased Portal 2 and the love affair continues. I could go on for hours about how much this game is making me laugh and think in equal measures.

The humour really is something different in the gaming world in that it's actually funny… I mean laugh out loud funny! The additions of light bridges and goo only add to the fiendish ways in which Valve try and trip you up.

This time round it has co op and puzzles that require team work ( you hear that Dave 'Teamwork' :P) and these have really opened up the game to some serious head scratching moments and yells of delight as you realise it's not that hard you were just making it that hard.

I'm only part way through but I don't want it to end. I'm now not really one for full priced, day one purchases esp for games such as this but I don't regret it for one moment. If you have never given the original a try I urge you to get this game and have some fun …just don't let glaDOS give you a complex about your weight

The sun is out ... and I hate it

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In the UK when the sun (eventually) comes out it's a great time of year, the birds are up early and your waking up to a glorious dawn chorus. Women come out of their hibernation and greet you with skin, on clear display, at all times and the thought of 'Being outside' no longer fills you with the same fear that facing the next instalment of the hashed up Modern Warfare fills me with.

It is also the time of year when Mother Nature gets a much needed kick up the back side. Animals dust off the Barry White records and the wonderful continuation of life begins again.

The greys and browns of winter are replaced with colourful blossoms and greens, but it is these greens that anger me beyond comprehension.

I must be getting old or something but currently my every growing lawn is causing me more anger than a cheevo not popping… As an example I once, I swear, caused myself internal bleeding due to the anger of a cheevo not popping FACT!

What in the world is up with this whole lawn malarkey? Who said they need to be cut… regularly!! At what point did letting it grow 'Fallow' go out of chic?

I cut my lawn last weekend …and so began the yearly debacle, which starts the same as every year, by getting it out of the shed whilst not:

a) Letting things fall on me

b) Allowing the various beasties that co habit my shed attack me at inappropriate intervals

c) Risking serious injury, perhaps groin strain, whilst not being bothered to move stuff out of the way and instead adopt a pose that would make a yoga instructor question that they know it all!

This is an adventure in itself and for most men, me included, one which you should be heartily congratulated for just passing this point. But no, like many 'true' quests this is just the start.

Next up is the puzzling section. A section so devious in it's simplicity it can trick you into thinking it's no more problematic than remembering to look at a ladies eyes even if her heaving cleavage is thrust in your face. But this, as we know, is not that simple! At what point during the 6 -8 months when you put the extension lead away, neatly wound, did it decide to knot itself into some kind of hideous tangled mess? How in the world does it do this?

You find yourself there for hours, trapped in the wire. At one point I swear it was trying to incorporate my into it's tangle. It had a hold me like a snake trying to squeeze the fight out of me before devouring me. I fought back and after 15 minutes the fight was won. The wire lay limp, defeated, and most importantly ready to use.

So I plugged in the mower and started to use it. Is it just me or do mowers just not work/ break just by looking at them kinda funny? Mine is meant to collect the grass … but it doesn't instead it just deposits nasty green lumps of foliage on my cut lawn. I swear it mocks me as it refuses to go through anything bigger than say 4 cm's in height! Why is my 'on switch' set in a place that contorts your hand my hand so badly I have a 'claw' worse than after playing rock band for hours on end?

So you finish it and you sit there all smug … perhaps with a beer. I felt great, that was until today a mere 3 days after cutting it to find that the new found sunshine has turned it once again into a seething jungle… laughing at me as I look at it!

Yeah the sun is great but lawns official suck … I'm off to buy some astro turf!

Oh and I quite like Crysis 2 Mp is fun SP wasn't all that if I'm honest despite the length.

Worth the risk?

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Pre ordering ... it's strange beast on the one hand it's a way to make sure you get a game you want on day one ...no drama's. On the other it's a gamble ... I mean you might get a prize of perhaps some bonus DLC but you could end up with a turkey of a game as the reviews that would have warned you, aren't about until the game is already in your machine. It can kind of be described as having the winning set of cards at the poker table on the Titanic!!

I'm in one of these situations at the moment. It's very rare that I pre order games and if I do it's normally because I have a firm, strong, belief that the game is going to be worth the risk. Ever since I saw the trailer for Deus Ex and then subsequently picked up my jaw again from the floor, I have been keen to learn more. I really enjoyed the previous incarnations but the impact of this trailer, the visuals, the cyber steam punk look, the music score that tickled my ears ...it left me a jibbering wreck of a gamer!!

So, you may think, the choice is obvious. Lay down some of my hard, earned cash on this bad boy? Well it would seem like the thing to do but then came the news. The news that it had been delayed for 'tweaks'.

This is not a bad thing I mean we would rather have a properly finished product for say a month or so extra dev time wouldn't we? But this is a game promising so much. A game where every situation can be approached in a number of different ways. You could be a silver tounged wizard whose charm and persuasivenature can get him into anywhere. Or you could use route one and go into the building keeping your mouth shut and letting Mr. Gun do the talking for you. So what is it they have or are tweaking?

The one notable omission from all the previews and write ups are really about the gameplay. I have seen scores of videos again all achingly pretty but nothing of real substance much like a playboy bunny!

So I find myself in this dilemma with the pre order of the game. Pre order it and you get a mission pack ... a mission pack that I'm sure isn't free for everybody and one I'm sure will cost me if the game lives up to expectations. But nothing in my eyes would be worse than having sub standard DLC to accompany a sub standard, full priced game.

So folks whatcha think ...

Do I GAMBLE?

Or do I...

A new hope...

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So as everyone that knows me kinda knows already I have a PS3. In fact I have had it for years now but it has always played second fiddle to my xbox.

This is not because of games, or the updates *shakes fist at the updates* or the fact it's interface was designed by someone who doesn't know the meaning of 'quick and simple' .. the problem was in the controller!!

I have never been a fan of Playstation controllers ... they never fit right and the sticks, well just weren't in the right place I'm used to being different ever since my original xbox and even further back my Dreamcast ...

But today I purchased this bad boy:

Yup a clear cut copy of a 360 controller with triggers ... yeah you heard TRIGGERS!! :lol:

So now all I can do is sit and wait at work until I get 'released' and can try this out for myself ... time to dust off KZ2 (I have played about 2 minutes of the game) and Uncharted 2 to see if indeed this helps or in fact the controller isn't to blame and I'm just rubbish!! :)

If you haven't added me on PSN and wish to see for yourself first hand some sub standard skills ... feel free to add me

PSN: MunkieMunch

So this weekend

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Is the final of:

or as it's known in the States

Or as it will be known in the States next year

But with USA stamped all over it.

To those living a nuclear bunker this is a show in which in this guy

essentially laughs his way to the bank as you the public pay to vote on a popularity contest which in essence completes his evil plan to monopolise the British music charts.

A plan so complete and dastardly in it's delivery that I'm sure if his label doesn't own the artist or song etc he will be found at the back of the recording session adding valuable triangle accompaniment just so his wallet is lined through some kind of royalties.

The premise of the show is simple make Simon Cowell richer than the world by letting members of the public show off some kind of singing talent. But that of course is only half the story. How can you, on this thinly veiled 'talent show', make the public warm to you? This is achieved via an all to convenient 'tragic back story' with which you can pull on the heart strings of the viewer making them disregard any talent and throw away good money as you gain their sympathy! One wonders if the initial auditions should just forgo the singing and get straight to the point like this:

"So you'd like to audition for the show?"
"Yep."
"Well, most importantly can you sing?"
"I really think so - my voice has been described as a cross between Etta James and Billie Holiday."
"Never heard of either of them. A couple more questions. How old are you?"
"17."
"Do you have any children?"
"No."
"Oh, well, never mind. Has anyone in your family recently died from or been diagnosed with a serious illness?"
"No."
"Ah, shame. Let's try something else - are you from a broken home? Do you claim benefits? Do you have a criminal or educational record that precludes you from employment?"
"No, no and no."
"Problematic. One last question - could you say on camera with genuine belief and without a hint of irony or sarcasm that the X Factor would be your 'last chance'?"
"'Last chance' for what?"
"Fame, fortune, meaning in your life, a future for you and your family, to make anything of yourself."
"Obviously not, no. That's ridiculous."
"You would think so wouldn't you. I'm sorry - you're just not the type of person we're looking for."

So much more quick and easy I think you will agree.

I do, apparently, have a Local interest in the show. Local (and I use this term loosley) is described thanks to the popularity of the show as anyone from within a 100 mile radius of where you, excitedly, might reside in relation to their home town.

And this is true about 'Local girl' Cher!

I mean

Cher

It seems everyone 'Locally' has an opinion of her. The opinions are simple if you're a young girl, about her age you hate her out of sheer jealousy or you already have a vested (voted and therefore financial) interest in the young lads of the non descript, generic boy band. Other opinions are normally based on if you or a friend have had any 'Run in's' with the family or indeed if young Trev from down the road has met her half Uncle and thinks he's a right d**k e.t.c

I hate this show and could go on about such annoyances as Louie Walsh's odd clap, Dannii Minouges face that is bereft of any emotion thanks to the tonne of snake venom shoved in her forehead or Cheryl Cole ...oh my how I despise that woman!! I hope all that watch this final have at least one responsible adult to hand to scoop up the brian cells evacuating your head ready to shove back in when it's over.

I realise this is a games site and therefore I wish to finish by saying I have played some games this month, some good some not so good! Job done!

Monkey Bob reviews...

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So it's been over a year since I have blogged I don't know why but every now and then something pops up that makes you put finger to keyboard and well one game recently has moved me so much I had to let everyone know about it.

That game is Conan for the xbox 360. Now I'm starting calm but believe me this is not going to be pretty.

So lets start with the specifics Conan (apparently) is an action platformer based on Conan the Barbarian. This game borrows heavily from games such as god of war and prince of Persia but it stands alone as one of the most frustrating, unplayable, broken games I have ever played. At points I swear I could see my 360 looking at me with empty, vacant eyes just asking the question ... why?

All I could do is pity it.

I have read other reviews that have said the story is possibly the weakest part of the game and to an extent I would agree. That is of course until you get past the females feeble attempts at narrating in a "God of War" style mythic prose and actually start playing (I use that term loosely) the game. You get the impression that the devs hired some vagrant woman off the street who has a liking for special brew and smokes 90 a day to growl and husk her way through a story so void of content it's the narrative equivalent of a vacuum!

But the bad voice acting doesn't stop there instead of focusing on making Conan unyieldingly badass, he instead spews one-liners in his period dialect.These repeat so often he sounds like a dodgy pirate with the vocabulary of a illiterate 4 year old!

So what about the gameplay surely the lure of an action platformer can save this game? The short answer of course is no!

Conan lumbers around like some man cow getting stuck on the smallest, obtrusive pixel. He jumps like a diseased gazelle and rolls around like some break dancing pensioner! I have seen better animation from some 70's Eastern European cartoon!

And then there are the bugs and glitches. I could go on forever about the jumping from platform to platform. It seems it requires the same precision that is found in the hard maths required to calculate the amount of thrust needed to get to the moon! I mean one millimetre out and thats it you have to start the annoying process all over again. But it doesn't end there I think the final straw for me was to witness this so called uber human fall through a floor, glitch out, unable to jump back out of the false basement hell he found himself in. At this point I questioned my very existence for living an emotion I'm sure the dev's weren't aiming for in the game!

The boss fights are tense. As the mammoth monster approaches you really do get a sense of fear and dread come over you. This is not due to an awe inspiring graphical cut scene that escalates drama. It is because you know that shortly you will mashing buttons in a furious, futile attempt to do more than lumber around the screen with as much aggression as a flower carrying hippy at a peace rally!

All in this game is awful! You would get more excitement from your controller if you were to put the rumble setting on full and stick the thing up your lubricated backside! The only saving grace is the sight of the humorous, scantily clad maidens you have to rescue.

So I guess if you want some mild titillation ... get hot and wet cheerleaders 9 on DVD and leave this awful game in the bargain bin! When I was a lad GBP 7.99 would get you drunk,a curry, a couple of lines of coke, and a prostitute now it seems it only buys you the gaming equivalent of a ruptured spleen!

Birthday thoughts

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It was my Birthday on Sunday and I'm feeling my age! Age is just a number 'they' say. Well if a number can stop you getting out of bed in the morning, becoming a slave to bills, not being able to drink any alcohol without a sore head and whinging that music is 'just a pile of steaming poop compared to what I used to listen to', then yep 'they' are right. :D

But it's fine because what I have to look forward to now is a mid life crisis. You know the score trying to get down with the kids in the vain attempt to regain any kind of credibility with young people that may have been lost, both though time and the wearing of a cardigan because "It's got a bit chilly". Then let's not forget the obligatory purchase of a car, something sporty perhaps, that smacks of desperation with the ropey looking peroxide blonde with accompanying orange tan accessory sat next to me LOL.

No longer will I be found delving into "a good book" of an evening, no way! I want to be the odd guy in the club, you know the old looking one who's lost any ability to dance his arse off like he used to but is convinced that 'he still has it' whilst sweating like Rick Waller in a pizza queue. This of course is thanks mainly to the tight leather trousers that have been rescued from 20 years of hibernation and that also seem to have mystically shrunk during that time too?!?! :)

It is these images that now haunt my every birthday. Any shouts of let's going clubbing are only wrongly encouraged by the thoughts of yeah why not you've still got it which clearly is a pandemic for any man my age LOL. But hey the only consolation is that I like birthday cake and the growing number of candles is helping with my heating bills for that day :)

Everything changes but you

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Sang the M&S advertising, housewife's favourites Take That. This has been one of those months where everything around me feels like it's going at a million miles an hour and I'm stuck in the middle trying desperately to keep up.

Firstly my job. Now not so long ago I blogged about my new position and well after a few short months I have been promoted to the big boss. I have a new bigger mug for my coffee and a great swivel chair but the workload is very demanding, don't they know I'm a gamespotter?? Hence why I have been somewhat quiet of late and not filling the forums with nonsensical ramblings, not a great loss some may say :).

Secondly the new dash update for the 360. I like it and like the fact I get a look at (all abet a virtual look) at my friends and what they look like. I did try to install Devil May Cry 4 in the hope that the DVD disk read errors would stop but alas no and the game still keeps crashing and I can't get past level 7 which is causing me to spout all sorts mumblings directed at the game, some foreign I believe!

I have also finished Fable 2. A good game but the issue around the achievements again has raised my blood temperature to levels that would make Dr Bruce Banner go all green. It's a lot of fun to see just how good and ultimately bad you can be but the ending was somewhat of an anti climax. I do recommend it though as an experience more than anything else.

But now I have no games really left for my 360 both DMC4 and Test drive are broke :( and as I have just sent out my Christmas list I fear buying games in case the sticky situation comes up when I get what I have just brought from a loved one. I hate having to look chuffed in front of them when inside your crying LOL It's just terrible coming home, sitting down and then just twiddling your thumbs, looking at my 360, with it looking back asking 'what you going to do about it?'

But I have been dabbling in LBP it's a great little platformer but the level creation tool is amazing. You genuinely are only limited by your imagination and of course time. I have yet to fully explore its potential but maybe when (if) I get some time off I can have a proper play with it.

Oh and finally the obligatory pic of my avatar. A fair representation of me but oh the eyes are wrong and I can't seem to find any that look right. EDIT: Thanks Wavey :)