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On a Journey to find a Platform of greater expression...

If you need me, call the number under the sink. ;)

R-Force

3 Years GameSpotting

Hey people, just wanted to let you know that today (that's July 11th 2008 ) marks my 3rd year as a long-time GameSpot users. Over the past 3 years using the site I've interacted with many of you fine users and made many friends. So thank you. It's great to be a part of such an exciting and welcoming community.

But that not the only thing that's changed in this time. The plethora of next generation video games and handheld masterpieces have made the past few years nothing short of classic. Once again we're on the eve of another climatic E3 event, and like you, I can't wait to hear and see all the sparkling news that comes out of it. Thank you for read this little blog celebration. Now I'm off to go have some cake. :)

Cake is so much better than pie...

Run & Sneak: The Metal Gear Solid Journey

Metal Gear! Where do I begin? Well, for starters this is a series I have been indulging in and enjoying, as many other gamers have, for the past 10 years. The first Metal Gear to make its worldwide release on the original PlayStation, back in 1999, was aWhere it all started... one of the key reasons that I got a PS1 and subsequently decided to stick with Sony's much anticipated, PlayStation 2, rather than buy an Xbox or GameCube. Metal Gear Solid was something wildly exciting and almost indescribable in terms of what the word 'game' meant to me in 1998.

When Metal Gear Solid was released I didn't own a PlayStation. Instead most of my gaming was done at my cousin's house (on his Megadrive, playing Sonic 2 or Street Fighter II) and at the house of my old best friend. It was my friend who introduced me to Metal Gear. Having played the game for 2-3 days, he couldn't stop telling me how great the story and gameplay were. How you could disable cameras with "particle grenades" or sneak into an enemy base undetected with the innovative radar system. It didn't take much coaxing for him to convince me to go round his house to see what all the fuss was about. And this is where my first experience of MGS differs for most others: I didn't play the game.

Over the course of a couple visits I watched and assisted my friend play through this epic adventure. Sneaking around Shadow Moses, detonating C4 to expose a hole in the wall, resisting Liquid's torture, smiling at moments with the mysterious and deadly Hide and seekCyborg Ninja, being shocked by Psycho Mantis's mind (and memory card) reading abilities and all the while (mostly) following this massive tale of red herrings, betrayals and intrigue. And to be honest I didn't need to play. I was so mesmerised by the cinematics (regardless of some of their length), gameplay and story that it really was like experiencing a 15 hour film. OK, I did play a bit, but I was so grateful to my friend for inviting me to experience this that I only played portions now and again. I was afraid that if I screwed up something important, like missed a Codec call or saved at an inopportune moment, I might mess his whole game/mission up. I mean, you were a lone operative infiltrating a base filled with Genome soldiers and renegade FOXHOUND members, poised to unleash a nuclear strike! Damn right I didn't wanna mess it up. ;)

Cyborg Ninja – what a badass

I can recall that after seeing the first Metal Gear Solid I begged and pleaded with my parents, put pocket money towards it and kept up my school work until I eventually got a PlayStation. It truly was a life changing experience in a sense, and while it's not my most precious gaming moment it sure comes close. My friend and I continued to discuss and enjoy Metal Gear well into the year 2000 and I was very pleased when he got a PlayStation 2 and Zone of the Enders, which came with the preview demo of Metal Gear Solid 2. When I finally got my PS2, MGS2 was an essential purchase.

Could this really be Snake's final mission?While the rookie espionage styling's of Raiden (MGS2's hated-on hero) didn't really bother me that much, the ending, or should I say lack of, did. But that said MGS2 is brimming with standout moments, from your first encounter with Olga on the Tanker right up to Snake and Raiden's heroic struggle through Arsenal Gear. The complete package was (no pun intended) 'solid'. So that doesn't mean that the ending was unsatisfying or poorly executed. It was just unfinished. So when I heard rumours of MGS3 being set in the 60s with Big Boss and not Solid Snake I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive that first.

Having played MGS3 in 2005 this apprehension soon turned into affection for what has without doubt been my favourite Metal Gear Solid (so far). Facing each of the Cobra unit have been some of the best boss experiences ever to fire up my PS2! The outdoor setting of lust, green forestry OPM UK have the exclusive scoop on MGS4 and it's a rock solid 10/10and brown swamps was a tremendous shift, but one that benefited the story and gameplay to no end. Once you've trudged through the thick jungles of Russia as Naked Snake, listening to Paramedic encourage you to see the latest Bond film or The Great Escape while chomping down a tasty Calorie Mate there's no going back.

Well a lot sure has changed since Metal Gear Solid. I'm older, wiser (at least I'd like to think so) and I've experienced a whole lot more of the world we live in. And I've watched the MGS series and its many characters grow over the years too. In EDGE magazine's recent preview of MGS4, Hideo Kojima stated that he'd like fans to relate to MGS4 as more than just a nostalgia trip, but to look back on their own experiences over the past decade and think about how they've changed. That's the main reason I'm writing this blog. Metal Gear Solid 4's arrive is now just days away and it's the end of an era for many MGS fans.

MGS4 Limited Edition (UK)

Metal Gear Solid 4 has been a long, long time coming, but I'm sure it will all be more than worth the wait when I get it in my hands at last. With globe anticipation now reaching boiling point, MGS4 will be breaking cover in the form of multiple retail versions and supported by an assortment of merchandise. But what really matters is the game. Expect to see some shocking revelations, poignant boss battles, old friends and of course Kojima's brand of uncomfortable gaming humour in this final mission for Solid Snake. In a world where we are constantly manipulated and mislead by leaders, politicians and corporate business no game could be more relevant. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots sneaks out on June 12th 2008. Thank you if you've managed to read all of my lengthy retrospective. Now turn off you Codec and get back on the mission, the world's at stake you know!

MGS4 – Sneak Out 12.06.08

Links: MGS4 final trailer, MGS4 Limited Edition (PLAY.COM), Kojima Productions, MGS4, MGO, HIDEOBLOG (ENG), Metal Gear Retrospective.

Nature Springs

Spirited away...

It's been quite I hectic couple for weeks for me of late. Long days and even longer nights. I need to focus myself for the coming weeks' exams.

So it's good to see that spring has at last returned.

I took this photo while returning from my college a few days back. Beautiful. Sometimes it's nice to know you've got some where that you can go just to be at peace and take it slow for a bit, in this insane high-speed digital world we live in.

That's all for now, I just wanted to vent some inner angst. Thanks for reading.

TAGGED: 5 slices of R-Force info

GES

Yeah. The title says it all. I too have been caught by the (near) deadly 'Tag Virus'. The T-Virus. (hiss) :P Stanblocker got me.

Well here go's:

1. I own practically all Gorillaz singles, albums, remixes, demos and unreleased tracks.

2. My best friend and I use to know every word (minus the Chinese) to Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2. But we haven't been able took keep it up.

3. I got my PSP at launch (1.9.05) and I also own an Xbox with more than 20 games. :shock:

4. I have never had a MySpace or Facebook account.

5. I love modern or abstract theatre and am currently preparing for my final A2 Theatre Studies exam. :)

Well that's it. But, now it's time for my favourite part: the announcement of my chosen FIVE! Drum roll please: darkgamerx2k, t-roland (TAGGED and UNTAGGED), Anamosa41, marbles01 and mad_tyger (UNTAGGED... but too late). (My heartiest apologies to you all).

You just got tagged!

Patapon Press Pack [PHOTOS]

introducing the craziest game since LocoRoco...

Last week, the fantastic hosts of the GameSpot UK Podcast (and Sony) released 3 copies of the very limited, Patapon Press Pack. I was lucky enough to be one of those winners. Patapon is one of the most unique games I've played in a while. The Rhythm based nature of the gameplay becomes mesmerising at times, as you watch your Patapon troops chant and chorus to the beat of your drums. Having only played the game for a short time I'm just getting use to the troop types, resurrections, upgrades and dancing trees! The game is definitely deeper than it may look at first glance. Thanks GSUK team. ;)

What's in the box?

Press Drum

Promo UMD of Patapon, Press Kit CD, stickers and folding artcard

Maddest. Game. Ever.

Well time for me to get back to leading my legions of loyal followers to victory over the evil Zigotons. Pata-Pata...

Hitting the 'Reset' button

Wow. What an insane month-and-a-half it's been. The Christmas holidays flew by with me frenetically busying myself with heaps of coursework. But I still managed to find time to play Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction and Uncharted. Beyond amazing! After spending more time than expected watching DVD movies (I strongly recommend Spirited Away) and playing Wipeout Pulse on PSP, January arrived sooner than I expected. My month has been filled with exams and deadlines, so let's just skip to last Friday.

A beautiful expression of human emotions

Burnout Paradise - Metalwork crumps, glass fragments into a million pieces and your eyes widen as you smash directly into a road side pillar. And seconds later, WWHHHRRRR, you're off again. That's how Burnout has always been and I'm very happy to say that the core gameplay that we've all come to love is still intact in Paradise. As you many of hear, freeburning in Paradise city can be a little disconcerting at first as finding events and learning the roads is completely new. For me personally I found it quite refreshing. I actually entered my first event completely by accident. I had planned to burn around the city for a while but with one simple press of the L2+R2 trigger and I was flung into a 'burning route' challenge. Single player might not be everyone's cup of tea, but the new online modes are crazy. Just pure brilliance. Whether it be taking on friends (online or off) with 'road rules', competing in races, player challenges or even just dicking around taking each other down, it's always fun! I highly recommend it. Racing game of year in my opinion (and it's only January :P ). If you'd like know more about Burnout Paradise try checking out Criterion Games' Crash FM podcast.

Paradise. This is.

If the showing at E3 07 didn't confirm it, then the delays did. 2008 (or 20-0-GREIGHT) is sure to be a superb year for games. Here are some of my most anticipated games for 2008:

1. MGS4 - This is at the top of my list this year. With a Summer release planned, and the promise of an epic conclusion to the saga, I need MGS4 more than clean air.
2. Resistance 2 - Insomniac Games. All that needs to be said I think.
3. LittleBigPlanet - If it turns out to be as world-changing as it sounds this could be my favourite game of the year.
4. Killzone 2 - the PSP version was incredible. Great story, online multiplayer and gameplay that worked surprising well on the system. I'm optimistically hopefully for this one.
5. Rock Band - Played SingStar with family and friends in the holidays and that was a laugh, so this will surely split the Earth!
6. Haze - If it ever comes out... I'll play it.
7. Soul Calibur IV - Haven't played a Soul game in years. Can't wait to try it.
8. Ghostbusters - If this comes out... and its a good game, I'll be pleased. If this comes out... and it's a good Ghostbusters game I'll be totally buzzing!

Can't wait to rock out with Rock Band!

"I'm gonna take back some of the things I've said about you, Egon" :lol:

*rubbing hands together in dubious anticipation* (or to keep warm in this cold English weather?) Lots of good games to look forward too then. I might think about picking up an Xbox 360 Elite with PGR4 and Halo 3 at some point in the year. PGR4 has got me gagging for a 360! Expect more from me in the near future. I've got some reviews coming and a blog or too. 2008 - unleash your mayhem...

Xmas e-card 07

Xmas 07 has arrived...

Hi People,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

This year has been absolutely INCREDIBLE for games. With you own an Xbox 360, PS3 or a Wii the list has choc full of games all year! I hoping to actually write a long blog about this year's events soon (but depending on how much time I have that may change :? )

Personally I can't wait to finally sit down and play Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. :shock: *dreamy sigh of joy* They're all I need this Christmas. I love to see them on an HDTV but I'm way to out of pocket for that now, so next year. Wipeout Pulse has also had me rummaging for my PSP this holiday. I also picked up SingStar this week (which is totally awesome by the way ;) ) and I could name so may other games (like Rogue Galaxy on PS2) that I'm trying to find time for this season. But that's itfor now, this year.

I hope you all get the games/consoles you're wishing for this Christmas. Have a
great time with your family and friends. Roll on 2008!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last year saw Amy Wong as my 'Xmas Gal' of choice. :P But this year I thought "What the hell. Here's a bunch of 'em." enjoy! :D [spoiler] LEELA! The one and only NO COMMENTJapanese YuleA little present for youSee you next year... [/spoiler]

The Gerstmann Affair

By now I'm sure most of the gaming community has heard or read about Jeff Gerstmann's unjust firing from GameSpot. This controversy has shaken the industry and horrified fans and users of the site. Much has been said already. Probably too much. What I dislike most about this situation is the tragic irony behind it. Jeff Gerstmann is a truly unique personality, a personality none of us would know or recognise were it not for the power of the internet. But like a swarm of angry locus descending on a lone animal, GameSpot members (Including myself with this blog post), gamers and bloggers alike have added their wood to the flames of this "internet rumour".

Before you stop reading I'm not accusing any GameSpot members or bloggers of purposeful adding to this controversy. I'm merely pointing out the fact that the internet continues cause such a mismatch of information, and especially the truth. Personally I found many of the blog posts by community members (Shifty_Pete, Dirk13, subrosian, JonathanL and many more) to be extremely refreshing. Listening to their thoughts on the event and their own opinions on Jeff. I'd like to say "thanks" to you, because some positives have come out of this terrible affair.

Once again, we, as an online community, the "GameSpot Community" were united in shock and disbelief that something so immoral should happen in our haven. For once we weren't messaging foolish comments about being "fanboys" (following by a series of inappropriate words) back n' forth. We weren't "dissing" gaming icons in the forums, just because they're exclusive to another system. We were talking about someone who affected our digestion of gaming media on a daily basis. For once, GameSpot was less about competition and more about cooperation. And that's good for all us gamers.

I don't think we'll know the whole truth about Jeff's firing anytime soon. But we all know that Jeff was a "Game Guru" who truly will be missed by all. Wit, charm and bit of a sadistically satirical nature made Jeff Gerstmann so likeable, to so many of us. I hope we can look back on this and be stronger as a community because of it.

Jeff we salute you.

[video=6148074]

Stats Report

Hey people,

Since I've gained several new emblems in the last few weeks and achieved some personal mile-stones, I thought now would be a great time to post my first 'Stats Update'. Hopefully you'll find something that interests you too so this doesn't just become another blog with someone banging the drum about their latest emblem! :P

To start with let's begin with my videos. I started posting them late last year, with my premier video being a short tribute to Gorillaz. I recently uploaded my 50th video and continuing this theme it was Gorillaz music video for 'Dirty Harry'. So after a full year of Feel Good Inc. here's something else for you all to enjoy:

[video=JnQylGP_5b8EvDPb]

(with thanks to StanBlocker for actually helping me get the thing in this window!)

Perhaps the most important news however is the 200th game in my collection: Folklore. I'm sure we all have more than 200 games if we choose to include every single game we own. But I wanted to wait for something new to hail as the 200th game in the my collection. I'm not that much of an RPG fan so 'Folklore' gets the honour for being a little original and having a dark, compelling tale to boot!

Having gained the serious collector's emblem this now brings my total emblem count to 22. No Biohazard emblem for me yet though. Just got to keep trying then. ;)

Two weeks ago I passed the 100 tracks' mark, making some new friends alone the way. Kudos guys. This post also seems very fitting for my 20th blog post. I'm currently on 75 Union posts. The forums posts have been relatively minimal from me, 633 (with a target of 1000). I currently have just 7 reviews available, and they are all for PS1 games. But fear not. More are on the way shortly. Over in "tagland" I've managed to place over 20,500 tags and currently have 4411 separate tags (with a target of 5000). And finally, in the small print, I've rated over 225 games, uploaded (just) 11 images, read 39900 messages and my profile has currently had 4108 views (again, with a target of 5000).

Well that concludes this short round up of my GameSpot achievements so far. Speak to you all soon and feel free to leave a comment.

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