TheWildthang / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
179 89 35

TheWildthang Blog

It's Wednesday which means..

New Zero Punctuation! Yahtzee reviews Mass Effect this week.

In other unrelated news, my Xbox 360 has finally been fixed and is winging it's way back to me (thank god). How long before my next Red Ring 'O Death? You know things aren't good when the UPS driver collecting the package for repair says 'Ah.. ANOTHER Xbox 360 is it?'. Not cool man. Not cool.

Knee Jerk

Ok, it's personal gripe time.

Following the aftermath of Gerstmann-gate, many GS blog regulars decided to up and go to various other sites (Gametrailers.com seemingly the most popular option) to demonstrate their level of disgust with C-Net. Such was the depth of their feeling, many said that not only would they no longer blog on the site, but many would no longer visit it FULL STOP.

Barely a day later and many are already returning having been unable to stay away.

Now, it's fine. I can understand their reasons for coming back. Many have formed their own little communities with a small but dedicated fanbase. HOWEVER, perhaps these people should've mulled this over before dramatically announcing their departure from Gamespot to all and sundry. Now what should've been an act of defiance looks more like a small child throwing his toys out the pram only to demand them back a few moment later.

All I'm saying is - if you're going to make statements or committments - then stick to them! Have the courage of your convictions and see things through to the bitter end. Half the crap that happens in this world does so because after the initial wave of anger and disbelief we all go back to our business like nothing ever happened.

Rant over. (for now)

Edit : Because I hate to end on such a negative note, here's some humour.

This is SPARTA!

Bye bye Jeff? Bye bye subscription!

Let me first make it catagorically clear that this isn't a knee jerk reaction, nor is it band wagon hopping as some other bloggers have been referring to it.

I'm sure by now you've stumble across some other blog mentioning the mysterious departure of Mr Jeff Gerstman. A man who was undeniably the soul of the remaining Gamespot team. Whether his sacking was related to the Kane and Lynch review, we may never know. I do know that this latest twist in the plot is enough for me to decide to cancel my long running subscription.

If Jeff's sacking was solely related to his Kane and Lynch review, then I'm afraid Gamespot have just lost their credability and with it many of their loyal readership. I just hope and pray that isn't the case. People (ESPECIALLY those inhabiting Internet) have very little time for sellouts and shilling.

So fellow readers - if you are paid subscribers and feel morally outraged to what's taking place. Please vote with your mouse clicks and cancel those subs now!

E3 : Sony conference as it happened

19:14 : I'm desperately trying to cook my curry and rice before the Sony conference begins. I'll probably be typing and eating at the same time, so apologies for accuracy and any curry splodges on the page.

19:31 : Frantic refreshes of the Gamespot E3 page to see if the live video stream is up. It is not.

19:34 : Gamespot's forums are taken off-line. No doubt due to the massive amount of idiots like me who are refreshing pages every few seconds. Somewhere in a room where Gamespot's web servers are housed, there's a faint smell of burning in the air.

19:39 : Well, at least I've had an opportunity to finish my curry. Still no live feed link.

19:41 : Aha! We have life. The event player is loading at a woefully slow speed, but it's getting there.

19:42 : Of the big three this is the one I've been looking forward to the most. Not because I've got any particular love for Sony, but because they've got the most ground to make up after this time last year. Most would agree that the 06 E3 conference was hilariously bad. On paper, it won't be hard to rival that. But one wonders what they can do to pull themselves out of their current slump.

19:44 : Err - video stream starts and it appears the show is already underway. Not sure if it was GS playing up or that the stream started early. Ah well.

19:45 : Ok, so we join the action as two Sony reps are in Playstation Home chatting to each other on screen in their 'tricked out' pad. Err. ok. The conversation is horribly cliched. God I love E3.

19:47 : Kaz emerges on the stage. RIIIIIIIDGE RACER. Yep. Him.

19:48 : He's holding a new version of the PSP, looks the same visually. But it's 33% lighter, 19% slimmer and better battery. Can it cook burgers? Then I'm not interested.

19:49 : He presses a display button and the spiderman 3 trailer playing on the PSP is output to an external display.

19:51 : Additional PSP colours coming to US. Silver I think? Hard to tell, my stream just spazzed out.

19:53 : Err.. Chewbacca is on the stage to introduce the other PSP colour. It's White and it's got Vader on the back. Nice. $199.99. Sony now automatically win this year's E3 by having Chewie on stage. Take that Peter and Reggie!

19:55 : And the Wookie leaves the stage. It can only go down hill from here.

19:56 : Now we touch upon the Playstation Network.

19:57 : Phil Harrison takes the stage. Outlines that there are no file sizes for downloadable games due to the hard disk size (a sly dig at Microsoft there).

19:58 : We're shown some PSN games.

19:58 : Echochrome. 3d rendered mazes in which stick man traverses from A to B. Err. Bit like Crush or Paper Mario. But black and white.

20:01 : Next snippits from Wipeout HD, Pain, Warhawk, SOCOM. Wipeout looked exactly as I remember it from the PS. Pain looked like a ragdoll type thing where you score points for injuries.

20:06 : Back to Playstation Home. Fall rollout planned.

20:07 : Phil shows us some PS Home features on his Sony W880i mobile phone. He takes a picture of the audience. I've got that phone, the camera is crappy. Someone should've told him.

20:08 : We're shown some constructions within the Home world.

20:09 : Now we're taken to Phil's own Pad in Home. It's a ski lodge. He's got Singstar on a tv within the lounge. The refresh is very good. Not sure it's going to be quite that wonderful when they roll it out and you're battling with thousands of other users for bandwith. Lest we forget that the PSN is free.

20:11 : Photo that Phil took on his phone is actually inside one of the pictures hung on the wall. As I predicted, it's crappy. Ha!

20:12 : Shows a social networking site running on a PC that includes blogging etc. Think Facebook but purely for Home.

20:13 : Phil fires up Motorstorm with 11 other people. Eagles nest track being shown, brand new. Coming for download soon. The object here being that he launched the Motorstorm game from within Home and then exited out back into Home at the end.

20:15 : Back to Jack! I sense a stat attack coming on.

20:16 : Covers PS3 with 80Gb HDD and Motorstorm. And the price drop for the 60Gb version. Apparently sales have doubled since the announcement.

20:17 : Now some Blu Ray propaganda.

20:19 : Ok, moving on to games! Announces that NCSoft are joining the Playstation camp. Releasing exclusive online games for the Playstation network.

20:20 : Ubisoft and Haze next. Exclusive to PS3 (initially at least, one assumes it's coming to 360 later)

20:21 : Cue the Haze trailer. Have to say it looks like 4 other FPS's merged into one. I swear one portion looked like it was ripped right out of Farcry. Maybe I'm just being cynical.

20:24 : Epic have signed a deal with Sony to optimize the Unreal engine to run on the PS3.

20:25 : UT3 trailer! I'd bet good money the footage is from the 360 version. Coming November 2007.

20:26 : More snippits, CoD 4, Assasins Creed, Kane and Lynch, Resident Evil 5, Burnout Paradise, Madden 08, Harry Potter, Simpsons Game, GHIII, MoH : Airborn, Rock Band.

20:32 : MGS4 is on! Being claimed as exclusive to PS3 Hmm.. that's contrary to some rumours. Kojima is on stage.

20:33 : Kojima says MGS4 is the very last for him, and everything will be revealed.

20:36 : Realtime footage coming up from MGS4 on the PS3. Looks pretty cool. 10 out of 10 for the two guys fighting at the end. Although it gets slightly bonkers that they stab each other about 20 times.

20:44 : Phil back on stage.. well sort of. He's back in Playstation Home wearing a Ratchet and Clank suit. (cue canned laughter)

20:45 : Ratchet and clank trailer. Meh.

20:46 : Folklore next. Looks interesting. Not interesting enough to make me buy a PS3.

20:47 : Heavenly Sword. Aparently the Cell processor and Blue Ray DVD enable the massive amount of enemy characters on screen. Ok.. whatever. It does look pretty though, no denying that.

20:49 : NBA 08. Meh.

20:51 : Little Big Planet. Looks as groovy as it did the last time I saw it.

20:53 : Uncharted Drakes Fortune or Boy Tomb Raider as one GS chat room member estutely put it. And it does look very Lara Coft-y indeed. Nice graphics though.

20:54 : Infamous. Camparisons with Crackdown are obvious. It's a super hero type guy chucking cars around and kicking arse. If they can improve on Crackdown, they're laughing.

20:57 : GT5 Prolouge. If that is actual in-game footage. Holy sh*t.

20:59 : And here it comes. Killzone! They've re-done the infamous original CG trailer but this time rendered with the actual game engine . I really like the iron sights and the dynamic lighting is pretty cool. Hope it's not dark and grey all the way through though. That might get a bit tedious. Shaping up nicely all the same.

20:04 : And back to Jack we go for the wrap up speech.

21:06 : And we're done! Well done Sony, not bad at all.

E3 : Nintendo press conference as it happened

16:55 : Well, here I am again for the Nintendo conference. Not being a Nintendo fan as such, this isn't really filling me with excitement. But who knows! Perhaps some gems lay ahead. At the very least I may catch a glimpse of the Reginator.

17:01 : Show opens with video montage regarding the success of the WII and DS. Just so we're all absolutely clear. Nintendo rule.

17:05 : There's a man on the stage. His name is Reggie. And apparently - he's happy. Unlike Peter Moore, Reggie dives right into the sales stats. Up 114% in growth this year. That's probably due to those crazy Japanese buying multiple DS's for each day of the week.

17:09 : Video is lagging badly. Picture me frantically running up the stairs, laptop in hands whilst I continue to take notes and boot my desktop PC at the same time.

17:11 : Picture dismay on my face as I find that the stream on my desktop is hitching too. Arrgh!

17:12 : Nintendo is apparently luring women into the gaming sector. Hard to argue with that one unless you count The Sims on the PC.

17:13 : Reggie continues with the Powerpoint lesson, highlighting that they are grabbing a wide span of age ranges from 6 to 60.

17:15 : Reggie addresses the 'Fad' factor. Points to the sales figures since launch. Claims that WII is set to become the top seller of this generation. Now he tackles the lack of games. 140 titles coming to DS before Xmas. 100 for WII.

17:18 : My connection craps out and I lose a minute or so! Eeek!

17:19 : The WII zapper is unvield. It looks like the control and nunchuck lodged into a plastic gun handle (if that makes any sense at all). To be used in conjuction with Resident Evil and something called Ghost Squad. This looks a bit like Time Crisis. Price is $19.99. Given it's a bit of plastic though, I should bloody think so.

17:22 : Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword coming to the DS.

17:23 : Dragon Quest for WII - Reggie says it's 'DEEP'.

17:24 : Mario and Sonic Olympic games. This looks pretty cool. Although it is another batch of mini-games when it's all said and done.

17:25 : Super Smash Bros Brawl. The Smash community is 'stoked'. December 3rd release slated.

17:25 : Noticeable pauses where Reggie stops for applause, only to recieve silence. Guess the public n00bs would usually jeer with idiots at this point.

17:26 : More filler video from 'real' people raving about how wonderful the WII is. I groan as they've dug out a GRRL gamer who identifies with Meteroid Prime. Urrgh. This is nearly as bad as last year's Sony conference where they had real people talking about the PS3. 'And I was like.. DUDE! I'm totally hardcore and I LOVE the PS3!! ROCK OOOOON!'.

17:27 : Zelda Phantom Hour Glass demo on the DS. I'm sure this is fascinating for Zelda fans. But isn't really awe inspiring for a stage demo.

17:30 : Enter Jackie, the token hot chick who happens to play games. She's demoing Meteroid 3. To summarise.. meh.

17:33 : Reggie is back. He's talking about online connectivity. Cue another montage of snippets showing us how it's great to play online.

17:34 : What Reggie is failing to point out at this juncture is how utterly un-friendly the player codes are.

17:35 : Now something about the WII Shop channel. Stuff coming next year.

17:36 : A new Check MII out channel. Sounds like a Hot or Not for your virtual character. One begs the question.. why?

17:37 : Reggie points to Mario Strikers, GHIII, Madden and FIFA as examples of how Nintendo are getting 'serious' about online play.

17:39 : Mario Cart for WII coming in 1st Quarter of next year. At this point Reggie gets out the WII-Wheel. Again, it's a wheel shaped bit of plastic with a hole for the WII controller. No price mentioned.

17:41 : More filler. This time to show us how the OAP's love the WII and DS. Then cut to kids and moms. WII all might start vomiting soon (see what I did there?).

17:43 : Japanese guy is on stage (didn't catch the name, was too busy puking). It appears he's trying to demonstrate the virtues of a DS cook book and forgetting about his job to chop onions. Have I switched over to QVC?

17:46 : I think the point he's trying to make is regarding feature creep. New players getting to grips with ever more complexe controls etc. Apparently Nintendo are aiming to bring down the barriers between new players and 'core' gamers. Games are for everyone (cue a nice long - Awwwwwwww).

17:49 : Goes on to explain that their aim is to release games which are immediately playable by everyone. And in my own very humble opinion, this in part why many are finding it difficult to keep gamers tuned to the WII as they don't contain enough depth past the first couple of hours.

17:50 : More filler. This time highlighting the social gaming aspect. Gathering around the TV, parents and children playing together. God.. pass me the the bucket again.

17:53 : Super Mario Galaxy - November 12th in the US. Europe.. probably 2010 (oo.. I'm so bitter).

17:55 : Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 on the way. Yay. More mini-games.

17:57 : Flash Focus revealed for the DS. Apparently visual brain training. Something to do with watching a baseball pitcher. I'm slightly lost.

17:58 : My Life Coach coming soon. Great. It'll probably tell me to buy more Nintendo goods.

17:59 : More video filler. Yet more news snippits about how great the WII and DS are. Think they're over-egging the point slightly.

18:00 : Wii-Fit. Woman shown standing on what appears to be a set of scales. She's balancing on it in different poses, on screen it's showing her what to do. Ok, this is getting seriously into the info-mercial territory. Next a girl hula-hooping. Now a young boy doing headers. Now a gus dancing on and off the thing. Woman doing yoga. Surely the Wii has no idea if you're doing the poses right. Hmm.. I'm decidedly sceptical.

18:03 : Miyamoto is on stage. Wii-Fit demo coming up. He's really excited about it. Fat kids rejoyce.

18:04 : Sharon demonstrates the 'one legged stretch' to us. In the background you can see how the device she's standing on is detecting how she's balanced. The aim is to get the red dot within the middle of the square.

18:06 : John demonstrates step aerobics. Stepping on and off the pad thing. Urr.. ok.

18:07 : Finally we have a third woman doing a twist on the pad, again the aim is to adjust your balance.

18:08 : 40 activities in the game. The device is called the Wii Balance Board. How excited can I get about a slab of white plastic? It can measure your weight and how you are balanced. Can be used as a control input. It's wireless.

18:09 : Reggie steps up to take part in the body check. Stands on the balance board. Reggie maintains he's got heavy clothing, Miyamoto chooses light. On screen it's measuring his weight after a pause. First it analyses his balance. Now it's showing his BMI. This can be tracked over time. Reggie's BMI is high. Oh the shame.

18:13 : Miyamoto and Reggie participate in some soccer heading mini-game using the balance boards. Reggie takes the honours. No doubt he'll be recieving a pay cut with effect of immediately.

18:16 : Reggie goes into the wrap up speech. States that it's Nintendo's time to lead and that their goal is to make games the pre-eminant choice of leisure entertainment.

18:18 : And that's it folks!

E3 : MS Conference as it happened


4:34 : Proceedings start only five minutes later than planned. Impressive!

4:35 : Five people are on stage rocking out the Halo tune. Bird on the violin is really going for it. Go on girl!

4:37 : Peter Moore takes the stage. God only knows what part of himself he's about to reveal in the next hour or so.

4:39 : ROCK BAND is being demonstrated on stage with Peter Moore on 'guitar' and joining in on the vocals. Hilarity ensues as Peter accidently pauses the game mid song... twice.

4:43 : Viva Pinata : Party Animals - looks like a collection of mini-games. Meh.

4:45 : Mass Effect : Trailer looks amazing. Out this November - hell yeah!

4:47 : Ah, and now we come to the flipchart portion of the conference. 360 is alledgedly outselling the PS3 two to one.

4:52 : More sneak peaks - PGR4, Stranglehold, GHIII, Beautiful Katamari, NBA Live 08, Mass Effect, Fatal Inertia, MOH : Airborne, Tiger Woods 08, Ace Combat 6, NHL 08, Assasins Creed, Simpsons Game, Splinter Cell Conviction, Eternal Sonata, Bioshock, Madden 08, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Crash of the Titans, Rock Band, Naruto Rise of the Ninja.

4:55 : Jeff Bell takes the stage.

4:56 : Goes on to outline SceneIt for the 360 (with Fisher Price controller). Methinks they are trying to snatch some of the 'mainstream' market that the WII is currently grabbing.

4:58 : Naruto trailer is shown. Graphically pretty cool. Some nice cell shading going on there.

5:01 : Terrible smack talking taking place between some American football player and Jeff. Awful, awful, awful. 'I'm not even watching Jeff.. I'm not even watching'.

5:03 : 7 million Xbox Live users online. 45 million Arcade downloads. More than 100 titles available by the end of the year

5:04 : Xbox Live Arcade sneak peak : Bomber man live, Undertow, Hexic 2, Sonic, War World, Sensi Soccer, Every Extend Extra, Geon, Wing Commander Arena, Track and Field, Spyglass Board Games, Golden Axe, Space Giraffe, Word Puzzle, Poker Smash, Switch Ball, Tetris Splash, Puzzle Quest!, Boku Sodoku.

5:06 : Sonic and Golden Axe available tonight on Xbox Live. Yay for Golden Axe!!

5:08 : Variety of Disney films being brought to Live download service. All available on Live tonight apparently.

5:10 : Movies finally being brought to Europe! - although lets wait and see how successful that move is.

5:11 : Shane Kim takes the stage.

5:13 : PGR4 stage demo. Showing off the new bikes in the game. Demonstrates wheelies and slides (although he can't seem to slide it to save his life). Nice weather effects.

5:18 : Lost Odyssey trailer. Looks like a cool turn based RPG.

5:20 : And now we enter the Windows portion of the conference. Viva Pinata, Gears of War coming to PC.

5:21 : CliffyB on stage to demonstrate the PC version. New levels and content. As you'd expect it looks every bit as good, if not better, than the 360 version.

5:26 : Epic to implement Live in their new titles. Meh. Lets just keep using Xfire/IRC?

5:27 : PC game sneak peak : Flight Sim X, Thrillville, Bee Movie, Hellgate London, Age of Empires III, Strangelhold, Gears, Bioshock, Crysis, Universe at War, Blacksite, World in conflict, Age of Conan, Lost Planet, Kane and Lynch, Company of Heroes, Zoo Tycoon 2, Juiced 2, Viva Pinata. No shockers there.

5:30 : CoD : Modern Warfare trailer. Looks cool. Devs take the stage to demonstrate the game. 'We're going deep and hard' - that gets a scream of approval from the crowd. Graphically looks good, nice foliage. This is all a bit STALKER-esque though as you watch snipers covertly take out the baddies. I don't think I've ever been so impressed by grass effects. 360 version gets an online beta.

5:38 : Splinter Cell Conviction : 360 exclusive.

5:38 : 'Looking for that special someone' GTAIV trailer on screen. Footage is taken from the 360 version. Oct 19th release in Europe. Two new episodes to be released on Live.

5:42 : Resident Evil 5 trailer. Woo!

5:43 : Assasins Creed - playable demo. Brace yourselves. We're walked through a mission, shown some fighting mechanics and some more about the dynamic crowd element. Some glitchy things noticeable, but it's looking good.

5:50 : Halo 3 Live action short. Say what?! Not sure what they're aiming at with this clip. Parts of it look like some random cheesy sci-fi epic you'd find in the DVD bargain bin.

5:53 : Halo 3 special edition Xbox 360 in September. Matt Army green by the looks of it.

5:56 : We end on some singleplayer Halo 3 footage. I'm not a big fan so it's a bit 'Meh' - but I'm sure the fanboys will be going utterly mental.

5:58 : And that about wraps it up!

E3 - Best Case Scenario

So here we are. My favourite time of the year as a Gamespot member. E3 time!

Although this year is set to be markedly different from previous E3's, I still hope that the MS, Sony and Nintendo can deliver some goodies in their respective keynote sessions which will no doubt whet our appitites for more and cause a peak of flaming in system war forums across teh interweb.

This years speeches willl be quite interesting. The big three have all rolled out their next-gen hardware and are well into the process of trying to persuade us that they have enough big name game titles on the way to make us all run out to the nearest shop and purchase a system.

So what do Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have to deliver to us in this year's conferences to make them memorable?

Microsoft

One can only imagine what part of Peter Moore will be tattooed this year. Actually, scratch that.I'd rather not think about it at all. Microsoft has enjoyed a relatively successful year with the 360. It's made some very shrewed decisions and the likes of Guitar Hero II, Forza 2 and Gears of War have all helped propel the console into a lot of homes. MS very wisely announced it's intent to replace any console suffering from the dreaded Red Ring 'o Death - which is perhaps the only chink in the armour one could poke at. MS has been dangling Halo 3, GTA4 and Assasins Creed in front of us as perfectly good reasons of why you should own a 360. I can only imagine that it'll be more of the same this year with maybe a snippit of Mass Effect thrown in for good measure.

Nintendo

Nintendo have to proove that theyhavesomething up their sleve other than yet another collection of mini-games which has youjiggling in the middle of your living room like a 4 year old on a sugar rush. The Wii carved it's own little innovative niche with it's funky control setup - but so far the titles released for it have either been poorly implemented ports orfad games which don't deliver in terms of lastability.Although one can't deny that Nintendo have cunningly captured the wider market with the Wii and will no doubt continue to reap the benefits as it has with the ridiculously successful DS.

Sony

Sony have been playing catchup to Microsoft since day one. Lately they've been getting it more right than wrong, but there's still a distinct feeling that they are lacking that one game which raises the system up above the 360 as a perfect example of why you should have a PS3 sat underneath your TV. I'd really love Sony to stop trying to arse about with gimmicky ideas (tilty-six-axis, please let it die) and veiled attempts attaking onXbox Live (*cough* Home) and just concentrate on the business of making the system stand out on it's own merits rather than trying to emulate the competition.