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The problems with Skate, and some good parts too

Thanks to EA for giving me so much to write about.

Earlier this month I bought EA's Skate, which, I admit I didn't really give much thought. Since Neversoft have stopped making Tony Hawk games and instead of making a great series that went through a bad patch better, they decided to continue with Guitar Hero which has been the same since release and it absolutely woeful. I bought Skate for £20 at Game Station and when I played the sodding thing, I immediately wanted to sell it back. Instead of going back to trade it in, I decided to get my money's worth and blaze through the god awful career mode which is plagued with terrible skating dialogue like "sick and gnarly" and with annoying accents, s***e challenges to the point where I gave up to about 70% of the career mode. The things it asks you to do are unbelievable. The control system may be revolutionary but the majority of flip tricks you perform are so similar you end up doing tricks you never wanted to do or have never done before because it was by luck. One challenge asks me to do a nollie 360 flip onto a ledge, grind down and all the while get 700 points. To do an ordinary 360 flip, the right stick goes down at an angle and you flick it up at an angle. Describing it is difficult but with nollies, it's the complete reverse, upside down, horizontal, vertical side of the trick and it's just, stupidly annoying.

Grinding is also annoying. Unlike in Tony Hawk where you have a balance meter, Skate doesn't and how that's realistic I don't know. Your skater is perfectly balanced but you have to get enough speed to actually stay on whatever you're grinding on. The simplicity of grinding without balancing is great until your skater stops because he has lost all speed. At this point, he becomes confused with being stationary and has never heard of lip tricks where you remain stationary for as long as possible. When you stop grinding, your skater will prat fall to the floor and may break a bone. Realism is all jolly exciting for sport games and the like but for skating games, it has its pros and cons. The pros is that you actually feel like a skater and when you get huge air and speed, a sense of urgency takes over because you need to consider how you land, what's the ground like is there a pedestrian or a car within a meter of me. Well, this all falls flat on its face when you have a camera angle that mostly follows your board. The camera angle is meant to give you the feeling that you're being recorded constantly. Yes, when you have big air, the camera does move up but only sometimes. 90% of the time you will bail when you land big air and speed. Skate becomes confused when landing huge air and speed even if the ground's flat and you not landing side ways. It would be nice to change the camera angle so at least I could see what's to my left instead of the right all the time.

Skate does have a lot of good points, but when you get the game right and playing in Free Skate, that's when the game excels at its best. And another thing, the same song always plays when you go to the main menu. Thank god for Microsoft to add in your own music on the X360.

Don't get me wrong about Skate, what it does well is brilliant. I'm glad they made a solid attempt at the skating genre since Neversoft's games as of late haven't been as good since THUG 2 but I will be willing to play future Skate titles. As long as they make improvements. I have got my money's worth, I've played it everyday since purchasing it, I've got very far in the Career Mode but sadly, it hasn't quite made gold for me. Realism works in this, but sometimes it's way to realistic and alot of the time, players who are Tony Hawk Pro Skater veterans I guess can get way to ambitous with what you can do and what you can't do in Skate.

Next time I'll rant on about my college music video which will begin production shortly and the problems with YouTube and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

2009 wishlist

There's only four games I want this year that are going to be released this year:

  • BioShock 2
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • NHL 2010
  • WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw 2010

However, games that have already been released last year are:

  • Call of Duty 5: World at War
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Gears of War 2

Music in Review 2008

Music in Review 2008

2008 has been a cracking year for games and movies and also with music. I'll be exploring what have been the best song, artist, new artist, lyric, guitarist, drummer, vocalist, and album and loads more. So, here we go.


Biggest surprise

The biggest surprise has defiantly been my sudden detour to death metal. A few blogs ago I mentioned that I discovered that I'm a keen fan of melodic death metal, or to put it plainly- In Flames. Like I also said, Guitar Hero 3 (not a good game) got me into the band and so I decided to listen to a few of their songs of YouTube before going any further. The songs: Take This Life, The Mirror's Truth, Colony and Come Clarity hooked me onto the band so I went on a downloading spree and got a load of their songs. The difference between "melodic" death metal than "death metal" is that melodic death metal has the melodic guitar riffs and more tune to the music instead of the guitar and drum madness that sound incredibly deep in death metal.

Last year, I awarded Cannibal Corpse with the "Worst Band of the Year" title. I'm about to betray my own opinion because I now like them. Not enough to go and buy their albums or download their songs. Although, I will keep up with the new album, Evisceration Plague.

Biggest News

Iron Maiden will be releasing a new album next year! J

Biggest Disappointment

Sadly, Disturbed's new album wasn't brilliant nor was it bad. Just a shame that it could have been better. What's also sad is that the two worst songs on the album are the most popular! They are: Inside the Fire and Perfect Insanity...!


Best New Band

When I say "new" band, I don't mean a group that formed this year, I mean a band that I have started listening to this year. And that band is, The Who. Yep, ****c rock at it's very best. It was either: The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or Aerosmith. The single, Won't Get Fooled Again won it for The Who and I've been listening to it more than Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd and I've been glued to Pink Floyd for quite some time.

Worst New Band

I don't even have to think about this one, or give you an explanation: Suicide Silence.

Best Guitarist

Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend, Jesper Stromblad, Angus Young, Steve Harris? Decisions, decisions. Angus Young. Yep, lead guitarist for rock 'n' roll band, AC/DC. Is it for his "spasm" on stage, his one-hand guitar playing during the song Thunderstruck? Or is it just because he's an awesome guitarist in an awesome band and that he's 53 and still playing like a lunatic? Whichever, but all the other guitarists I mentioned are still fantastic but Angus wins.

Best Drummer

Erm, to me, drummers don't stand out as much as guitarists do but I'd have to say, In Flames' Daniel Svensson drummer is the winner.

Best Vocalist

Now, I've removed Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden out of this because he is my all-time favourite vocalist so he doesn't count. Like I said, this year has been simply staggering for music. The talent here is fantastic and choosing a winner is difficult. It's out of the following: Tim McIIrath (Rise Against), Anders Fridan (In Flames/Passenger) and Brian Johnson (AC/DC). Tim McIIrath wins. Rise Against's new album, Appeal to Reason had some amazing lyrics and songs in it which could never be covered and be better. Tim McIIrath= win.

Song and Album AWARDS

Best New Album

There have been quite a lot of new albums from my list of bands that I've bought: Disturbed: Indestructible, In Flames: A Sense of Purpose, AC/DC: Black Ice, Metallica: Death Magnetic and Rise Against: Appeal to Reason. The winner is Rise Against: Appeal to Reason. Songs like: Kotov Syndrome, Re-Education (Through Labour) and Saviour win the album for me. Rise Against: The Sufferer & the Witness is the defining album in their discography and it still hasn't been topped off. Appeal to Reason is fantastic and it's the album of the year.

Best Song

Extremely tough to decide but it has to be one song out of hundreds: My Sweet Shadow by In Flames. Every time I listen to it I never get bored of it- never.

Best Lyrics

Out of these four lyric segments, the one highlighted is the winner.

"We crawl on our knees for you
Under a sky no longer blue
We sweat all day long for you
But we sow seeds to see us through
That sometimes dreams just don't come true
We wait to reap what we are due"

Rise Against: Re-Education (Through Labour)

"Back in black
I hit the sack
It's been too long I'm glad to be back
Yes, I'm let loose
From the noose
That's kept me hanging around
I've been looking at the sky
and it's gettin' me high
Forget the hearse 'cause I never die
I got nine lives
Cats eyes
Cruisin' every woman, never wonderin' why"

AC/DC: Back In Black

"Tame with confidence of a brighter future
I found a flame in the burnt out ashes... burn out, burn out

fueled these new shores burn
dark past lies cold
shadow, my sweet shadow
no one loves you"

In Flames: My Sweet Shadow

"Backstage we're having the time
Of our lives until somebody say
Forgive me if I seem out of line
Then she whipped out her gun
And tried to blow me away

(That, that) Dude looks like a lady"
(That, that) Dude looks like a lady
(That, that) Dude looks like a lady
(That, that) Dude looks like a lady"

Aerosmith: Dude (Looks like a Lady)

Artist of the Year

To finish things off, it's between two bands: In Flames and Rise Against. And I'm delighted to announce, it's In Flames!

Sadly, Rise Against didn't win it as they pretty much won last year but In Flames really got me into the death metal scene and turning my rather ignorant opinion over on Cannibal Corpse.

Just a few In Flames and Rise Against songs:

In Flames:

Come Clarity-

My Sweet Shadow-



Rise Against:

Prayer of the Refugee-


From Heads Unworthy-

Re-Education (Through Labour)-

17 Today!

Yeah, my seventeenth birthday is today. Had to go to college but at least I had half a day. Announced it was my birthday there and ...was sung happy birthday...

I got the following:


  • NHL 09


  • AC/DC: Back In Black
  • Metallica: Metallica


  • Dumb & Dumber
  • Lee Evans BIG At The 02


  • Jeremy Clarkson: Don't Stop Me Now
  • The World According To Clarkson
  • The World According To Clarkson: Volume 2 And Another Thing

Of course, being 17 allows me to partake in driving lessons but I'm in no rush to drive just yet. Or join the armed forces for that matter. Well in about 365 days I'll be 18...

Onwards to December 8th 2009.

2008 Academy Awards

2008 Academy Awards

This is my own list of awards and nominations for the films I've seen this year. Unlike the actual Oscars, it's not just about films that have been released this year so there will be some absent films here such as The Dark Knight which I haven't seen yet. Some categories might not have any nominations such as the Best Foreign Language Film. Hope it's a good read.


Best Music Score- Platoon


The Godfather

28 Weeks Later

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith

Best Original Theme Song- Saw II

Saw II


The Godfather

28 Weeks Later


Best Animation Picture- Monsters Inc

Monsters Inc

Shrek the Third


Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit


Best Foreign Language Film- Brotherhood

Sound and Visual Effects

Best Visual Effects- The Matrix

The Matrix

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Best Sound Mixing- Flags of our Fathers

Flags of our Fathers

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Spider-Man 3

Batman Begins

Best Sound Editing- Flags of our Fathers

Flags of our Fathers

Batman Begins

Spider-Man 3

Saw II

Technical Production

Best Art Direction- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix

Saw II

28 Weeks Later

Best Film Editing- Saw II

Saw II

28 Weeks Later


Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix

Best Cinematography- Saw II

Saw II

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Batman Begins

28 Weeks Later


Best Actor in a Leading Role- Ray Liotta- Henry Hill (Goodfellas)

Ray Liotta- Henry Hill (Goodfellas)

Robert Carlyle- Don (28 Weeks Later)

Robert De Niro- Sam "Ace" Rothstein (Casino)

Marlon Brando- Don Vito Corleone (The Godfather)

Best Actress in a Leading Role- Sharon Stone- Ginger McKenna (Casino)

Sharon Stone- Ginger McKenna (Casino)

Linda Hamilton- Sarah Connor (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)

Helen Mirren- Queen Elizabeth the Second (The Queen)

Sigourney Weaver- Ellen Ripley (Alien Resurrection)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role- Joe Pesci- Tommy DeVito (Goodfellas)

Joe Pesci- Tommy DeVito (Goodfellas)

Robert De Niro- Don Vito Corleone (The Godfather Part II)

Sean Connery- Jim Malone (The Untouchables)

Willem Dafoe- Sgt Elias (Platoon)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role- Loraine Bracco- Karen Hill (Goodfellas)

Loraine Bracco- Karen Hill (Goodfellas)

Kirsten Dunst- Mary Jane Watson (Spider-Man 3)

Diane Keaton- Kay Adams (The Godfather)

Deborah Van Valkenburgh- Mercy (The Warriors)


Best Action- Die Hard

Die Hard

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Die Hard 4.0

Lethal Weapon 3

Best Horror- 28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later

Alien Resurrection

Shaun of the Dead

Brain Dead

Best Comedy- Meet the Parents

Meet the Parents

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

The Mask

Meet the Fockers

Best Drama- Goodfellas


The Departed



Best War Picture- Platoon


Saving Private Ryan

Full Metal Jacket



Best Adapted Screenplay- The Departed

The Departed

The Warriors


Schindler's List

Best Original Screenplay- Platoon


Full Metal Jacket

The Full Monty

28 Weeks Later

Best Director- Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas)

Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas)

Oliver Stone- (Platoon)

Stanley Kubrick- (Full Metal Jacket)

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo- (28 Weeks Later)

Best Picture- Goodfellas



28 Weeks Later

The Warriors

Fallout 3- do I buy or not?

Fallout 3- I really want to buy an RPG game in the future but I'm wondering if it's going to be Fallout 3. Fable 2 is a definite no and Oblivion is a might, but Fallout 3 does look promising.

Far Cry 2 will be delivered tommorow and after that I'll order Dead Space hopefully alongside some fingerless gloves.

1000 Gamer Score now on BioShock, the Historian achievement was difficult to get so I used Wikia games to get a list and tick off the diaries that I have collected. Then I got the achievement for beating the game on the hardest difficulty which is, hard... The game actually gets easier as you progress as playing through Neptunes Bounty on hard is very hard. I took me three playthroughs to get the achievements and now I'm bored with it.

A brand new start!

Tommorow I'll start my first day at college, the course is Media Studies along with Maths GCSE re-take. The course sounds amazing and everything I love doing pratically is in the course. My brother also did the course I'm doing and said it was brilliant.

I've also added another game to my collection: Dead Rising. Well, so far, the save system is pretty taxing and the time specific missions don't go well with the one-time only save system. I managed to get an auto-save along the way so I stopped playing then. One thing that annoyed me was that when I died, (which was the first time) I restarted my progress but with all my stuff and level. That was good but that meant I had to start at the very beggining (which happened a hell of a lot when I played Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne). It did make the journey to my current spot much easier though. So, to overcome this problem in teh future I've made three new profiles to my Xbox so I can make multiple saves with three multiple profiles. Making the task of switching around my saves and games that much easier. Still, it's a pain to even have to do that. Still, cutting up a hundred zombies with a lawnmower never gets old. Also, this month I'll get the Star Wars game and I've gone right off Mercenaries 2.

I've purchased a new bag as well for college which is a black Quiksilver bag. I was looking for a brown corduroy bag but couldn't find one or it was too small.

To end this blog, I'll post a song... about a train... in a Flanders and Swann routine...

A new band and why October will be the best month of the year!

I can't be bothered to finish my Iron Maiden song blog since I'm getting bored of countless Maiden blogs and I'm sure others are too. Anyway, about this new band.

In Flames. A Swedish melodic death metal band, and how awesome are they. I have to thank Guitar Hero 3 for this as I really enjoyed Take This Life by them so I've gone on Youtube and listened to a ton of their songs. Come Clarity, Take This Life, Colony and The Mirror's Truth are the best songs so far. So, I've ordered their latest album: Sense of Purpose which should arruve tommorow.

October. Three things will make October a blast: Saint's Row 2, Dead Space and Rise Against: Appeal To Reason. Saint's Row 2 will abosolutely kick GTA IV's ass out of the window, my opinion. GTA IV was great but once the story is done and you've messed around abit, there's no need for it anymore. Dead Space apparantely will be BioShock but in space, I've seen gameplay videos and everything about it looks brilliant. My sort of game. I just EA won't balls it up. Then, Rise Against's new album, after a few troubles with a release date, it's going ti come out this October on the 7th.

I'm also borrowing Gears of War of my brother and after much debate over it- I'm getting Gears of War 2. Also my opinion on Guitar Hero has changed it. But, I certainly won't buy it. Bye.

Top 20 Iron Maiden songs 1980-2006 (Iron Maiden- The Number of the Beast)

Unlike my favourite album list, I'll be posting my favourite songs by date of release. So, I'll be starting from their first album to their third. Iron Maiden- The Number of the Beast. Killers isn't on here because there's no songs that I think should make the list.


20) Prowler

From their first album, many songs became on the charts like: Phantom of the Opera and Transylvania. For me, no song beats Prowler. The voice is Paul Di'Anno and he brought a very light rock feeling to the album which really was some of their best work. Better than Blaze Bailey anyway.

19) Iron Maiden

Yep, their self-titled album had a self-titled song and this song usually introduces the band during live events. Again, Di'Anno does a great job with this song and argubly this is their signature song.

18) Run To The Hills

On the Number of the Beast album, Run To The Hills became hugely popular and was always included in their live events. For me, this song isn't the very best but it is in the catagory of legendary songs like: The Trooper, Hallowed Be Thy Name and The Number of the Beast. Defiantely a song that shouldn't be missing from any Iron Maiden compliation albums.

17) The Number of the Beast

My most favourite Maiden song and the band's signature song (to me) and the best lyrics and guitar solos ever. A song that follows a man who watches Satanists and ultimately joins them, with the pure almost Satanic voice of Dickinson who fires his voice into oblivion for this song. Truly an amazing song.

16) Hallowed Be Thy Name

At first listen through, I didn't think much of it. A few more times I loved it and it has great lyrics and one of the best stories in a song. A man who is about to be hung and reflects his feelings and thoughts. At the end of the guitar riff, he yells "Hallowed Be Thy Name" before being executed. It's quite a fast song in some ways but it has a slow start. Then picks up as the song progresses. With those three songs on one album, The Number of the Beast is my most favourite album by Iron Maiden.

Next time I'll be listing songs from the albums: Piece of Mind and Powerslave.