WizzyKid / Member

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WizzyKid Blog

Continue? Yes. Extra life is go!

It seems as tough it's been forever since I last really got involved with Gamespot, when in actual fact it was only a little over 6 months ago. It's quite amazing how slowly time passes by when you haven't really got nothing else to do.

So, I have returned to the Gamespot once more. Since my attitude's are always changing, I don't know if I'm back to stay or just back to look around here and there, which is what I have been doing. But I'm making a blog post, so that has to be a good sign right? Well, I'm still frequenting Gamespot, so I'll at least be half active. Alot of things have changed about me in the time since I last posted a blog however. No longer do I wish to persue the carears I wanted to, which was in journalism, programming or video editing. Infact, I have no idea what I want to do, but I'm no longer interested in those three.

Also, I'm not sure how to describe it, but before I'd be afraid of what I write incase someone didn't like it, or it felt a bit too out of place or I'd end up in an entirely different mood the next day and felt what I wrote I shouldn't of done. Well, I still have some of the latter, but now I can feel like an arse and not regret it. So if you don't like what you read, then I don't really care. If I don't like what I read from what I wrote... well then that's a different matter.

As a quick life update, my level of gaming has shrunk quite a lot recently due to huge money shortages. I managed to get an Xbox 360 with three games between now and September, and that was about it. Tough, Burnout Bikes is extremely awesome and I now have another Geometry Wars to rule the day!

Hiatus

So, I'm going on hiatus. As you're probably aware, I've hardly been keeping up with blogs. Lets just say I've lost the community appeal of Gamespot. As also seen from my last few blogs, I'm not blogging much either, and they're pretty random when I do. So, consider this a hiatus. I'll still be around, so if you want to PM or anything feel free to do so. But I'll just be checking the site for news, games and such (Like I always ever used to really).

This is not a leaving post, because leaving post's are just stupid and retarded. Yeah, I said it. Whoever makes those kind of posts is pathetic, because you won't leave. If I checked your "Last online" status, I'm pretty sure that will say something about your leaving post. Not forgetting all those countless times I've seen "Hey, I'm back, I didn't really leave" blogs or "I changed my mind, lulz".

If you want a bit more active WizzyKid, check me out at Giant Bomb. I'll be generally posting over there, and mainly submitted thousands upon thousands of screenshots of many obscure and super popular games.

EDIT: If it makes anyone happy I'll link to a Roflcopter!

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=boh92DrYEWs

Gotta love the pronunciation of "Soi" and "Sh"

At 4:35am...

I have a huge urge to douse down a large bottle of sweet lime flavoured 7-UP, or eat a fantastic Mcflurry smarties filled Ice-cream.

Conferences were awful! Gamespot's stage demos were great!

It's that time of the year. That one time where I spend most of the time of the day sat at the computer and absorbing all the information from more games than you can possibly think of.

I've been following E3 since 2004, and I can say that these were easily the crapiest conferences at E3 yet. Part of the reasons could be to do with no big console or handheld anouncements, or even anouncements of top selling exclusives. But the shows where very lackluster. It seemed that only Sony tried to keep me entertained, as they showed the most games.

Microsoft's conference was really borring. But at least I was interested in some of the stuff shown. When they were going to show off LIPS, a singstar like game, a woman singer called Duffy with a terrible voice was about to show it off. Luckily for us Gamespot watchers, the content was block. To keep us satified they gave us Dancing Mastercheif! What's sad is, that was easily the most memorable part of the Microsoft Conference.

I can't believe it, but Nintendo's conference was terrible. It was a flop. It was hardly entertaining or interesting like the past 3 Nintendo conferences. Very few games were shown, and little gameplay was shown altogether. The segment on Animal Crossing seemed to last forever. You know, I'm not a fan of the game, I don#t particuly want to have to make a coffe, come back upstairs and still wait another 5 minutes. But they had to talk 10 minutes about Pokemen, some unimpresive snowboarding game for the Wii board and Wii music which looks completly uninteresting. The only thing that did get me excited was the anouncement of GTA DS. That was it. Only one thing I now know, that I didn't know before from watching the conference. It didn't help they did more talking than Bill Gates could ever do.

Then there was SONY. Right from the introduction, I knew this was going to be the best conference. From the flashy stage to the brilliant array of games. SONY had games, games and more games. There was alot of talking in between, and repeated trailers, but at least I actually enjoyed this.

But yestarday wasn't all that bad, because the Gamespot stage demos were superb. Lengthy demo's of some of the best games such as Resistance 2, Ratchet and Clank: Quest For Booty, inFamous, Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Prince of Persia... yeah, it was top quality games non-stop. (It was so good, that my name got shouted out 4 times)

I still need my E3 conference emblem to have Microsoft and Nintendo light up. Despite a rewatch, they're still not there, hmmmm.

Ipod + Crave for Games = Phase = Must Get!

Recently, I decided to download Phase for my Ipod. I've been wanting to give it a try for a while now, and I finally have my hands on it. It's a good rhythm game -- about as good as a rhythm game can get on an Ipod. Developed by Harmonix, Phase is an adictive game for the Ipod. So much so that my click wheel has started to come off.

Phase is very easy to pick up and play. You select a song you want to play, and your in the action. You press the left side of the click wheel, the middle button and the right side to hit the corresponding notes. When there is a 'Sweep' of notes, you have to slide your finger across the click wheel corresponding to the position of the sweep of notes. Tough, this is rather awkward when using the Ipod Nano model, as the click wheel is tiny, and it may not recognise your finger sliding across at the worse of times.

The game is rather punishing in it's difficulty. Even with an accuracy of over 90%, you can still fail a song. Rather than going Halo, it's back to health packs -- and a limited number at that. Each checkpoint (The amount of which varys depending on the song length) has a set number of stars which you need. You will loose/gain lives depending on how many stars are needed for the checkpoint. If it requires 4 stars, and you only have 2, then you will loose 2 lives. There are score multipliers for every number of notes you hit in a row, which helps you to recover if you're near a checkpoint.

Phase does a good job of recognising your music, and planting notes that match the music. Tough, it does only work well with songs with strong beats. Guitar heavy songs, muffled drums and reverbed vocals can create a random sloppy mess (Sorry Korn fans). Sweeps are hit or miss. They appear when the music suddenly changes in pitch or volume. This works great with synths, but is abruptive during heavy metal and crazy Jimi Hendrix riffs. Luckily, there is a limit to how many can apear at a time, so techno enthusiasts will have a bit more to do other than sliding their finger left and right.

Choosing the songs you want Phase to recognise is a rather uneasily lengthy task. When you have brought and downloaded the game, there will be a new playlist created called 'Phase Songs'. Only songs that you drag into this playlist, will be playable on Phase. Since you can only put one song into a playlist at a time, this can become frustrating. Also, it may take a few attempts to sync your Ipod, before it recognises the playlist itself. It would be much more convenient if it would just work with all the songs that are on your Ipod.

One major annoyance I have with Phase, is that it is very easy to accidentally reset your Ipod mid-game. Not only have you reset the settings and high scores within the game, you have defaulted all the settings on your Ipod. This can become very frustrating.

For just £4, Phase is a very nice game. It will work with any song you want it to play, tough some songs will play much better than others. Controls may feel clumsy, but you will get used to it.

Phase loves:

In Pieces - Linkin Park
In The Belly Of A Shark - Gallows
Land of Confusion - Disturbed
Duality - Slipknot
Pork and Beans - Weezer
Technical Difficulties - Julien K

Phase Hates:

Korn

UPDATE: You HAVE to convert songs to AAC to play them on Phase. The game doesen't tell you that until you've put them onto the Phase playlist, transfered the songs onto your Ipod and then you attempt to play them.

To all those who are tracking me...

I've noticed something: A large number of people are tracking me. More people are tracking me, than the amount of people who I am friends with.

This doesn't entirely bother me. However, I am curious. I do feel like I'm being ignorant. I don't mind people tracking me and not knowing me or anything, because I do that too. You might like a person's videos, or a few of their blogs like a special feature they have running. I only track people back, who writes interesting blogs, or is someone who I know in real life.

It's hard enough to keep up staying in touch with my actual contacts. After all, I do have alot of hobbies, and I don't particularly enjoy writing alot. I'm not one to leave useless one word comments tough. Just to let you all know, if I'm not tracking you, then I'm not interested in you. That may sound harsh, but I don't want to read blogs or watch videos that I am uninterested in.

Whilst on that note, if I track you, and I don't comment alot, it would be because of the same reason why I imagine many people track each others, it's because I'm not interested in all your blogs, or your videos. But of course I'm sure you all knew that anyway... right?

Just something I needed to get off my chest. Feel free to track me, but don't expect me to track you back, even if you do comment on my blogs. Of course, it's nice of you to do so, but it's hard for me to comment on something of which I'm not interested in. Like I said, I don't like to leave pointless comments to pretend I'm keeping in touch with you.

Just a quick side note: There are some people who I used to track, who I have untracked. I haven't been active around the Gamespot community for long, so I was just getting used to it all. I've untracked because I'm not really interested in you, unless you have a strong relationship with me.

Game Spotlight #2: Asteroids on Crack... I mean Echoes

Welcome to Game Spotlight, the feature where I will be bringing you all the information you need about great games that are sadly, hardly known to anybody. There are many fantastic games buried out there, amidst the carnage of the mainstream games of today.

Previous Game Spotlight: Metal Fatigue

Echoes

Gameplay Montage

Screenshots

Website

We're all familiar with shoot 'em ups. There have been many of them released such as Gradius, R-type, Galaga, Ikaruga, 1942, Geometry Wars etc. But most shoot 'em ups all have one thing in common: The enemies have attack paterns. No matters how many enemies can be crammed onto the screen or how many bullets go flying, anyone with enough patience can learn to survive a level with ease.

Echoes, a freeware game from Binary Zoo, is unlike those many shoot 'em ups. The game plays much like the cl@ssic game Asteroids, only you can move freely without having to wait for your ship to accelerate and the visuals make you feel like you're on an ecstasy trip. It can really be summed up with the phrase "Asteroids on crack". The game sends wave after wave of asteroids which break up into smaller asteroids which all bounce around in random directions. In Echoes, there is the addition of power-ups and some new and very tough enemies.

This isn't your typical shoot 'em up by any means, but it doesn't do anything you having seen before. Rather, it's the way it blends the cl@ssic Asteroids gameplay, excellent movement and stunning visuals. As well as shooting down asteroids, you will also encounter asteroid belts in which a row of red asteroids will follow you, black holes which spew out small asteroids and a whole ton of them when destroyed and there are meteors which appear from off screen and zoom across to the other side. If you make it to the last wave, you will also encounter the sun which is the largest target and will fire meteors towards you whenever you hit it.

Echoes isn't an easy game, in fact it's very hard. Part of the reason is because it's completely unpredictable. It's never the same game each time you play it. Thankfully, it controls great. Your ship moves instantly to the direction you want it too. You can control using the mouse, with the keyboard and aim with the mouse or a joypad (Tough if you don't have one, using the keyboard for both is still a good option).

There are power-ups that drop to aid you. There is a weapon upgrade, health recover and a power-up which fires eight powerful bullets. You'll want to keep your weapon as powerful as possible, otherwise you'll really struggle to make it passed some of the waves. Luckily, your ship can take allot of punishment, and you never need to take your eyes off the action. A large circle around your ship decreases in size and changes colour whenever you loose health.

Echoes wouldn't be nearly as thrilling, if it wasn't for the visuals. There are tons of particles effects that can appear on screen at once, with minimal slowdown. Motion blur makes it easy on the eyes, and asteroids leave trials as they speed past. All the while, the screen flashes whenever something is destroyed. It's a subtle, but nice effect. Nothing is more satisfying than destroying a large asteroid and hearing a "KABOOM!" while it echoes around your room. You can adjust and even turn off the effects, but it will detract from the gameplay.

If your looking for a different kind of shoot 'em up which offers visceral gameplay and great visual effects, then Echoes is for you. Unfortunately, there are no leaderboards so you may feel there is no purpose to play the game after a while. There are "Zoots" in the game which are like XBLA achievements, but they're very hard to achieve and obtaining half of them unlocks a lackluster "Crack" minigame. You simply destroy a large asteroid which shoots indestructible asteroids towards you and repeat until you die.

Head over to binaryzoo.com if you wish to download and play the game for free. Oh, just for the record, the footage in the first half of the gameplay montage was played on medium. The second half was on the easy difficulty setting.