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dahui58 Blog

End of Unions?!

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So it seems Gamespot staff are finally getting tired of their decade old systems and are planning to overhaul the site. Finally. But this good news comes with a cost, they're getting rid of unions. Thanks a lot for the notice Gamespot, get rid of the communities which have kept the most loyal and active users on your broken and slow website for many years. I understand sometimes decisions have to be made for financial and business reasons, but just a little more notice would have been nice, after 5+ years of little to no feedback or communication.

I'm not that fussed as I am not as heavily involved with unions as I used to be, but I've been on this website for a significant chunk of my life, I've had a lot of good times here, 'met' a lot of cool people (and also a lot of horrors) and set up or joined a lot of great unions (some of them even staying active for longer than a few months!!) 

Unions have always had the problem of a short life span, and keeping an active community interested has always been tough, but most people always come back. That being said though in the current state of GS, I wouldn't be suprised if this blog was deleted, or not even viewable. Even if this was not the case, I fear most of the good people I met on this website will have now jumped ship never to return. To those that read this though, thanks for the good times and good luck with your life if I never speak to you again. 

Not sure if I will stick around this website after unions have gone, it definitely won't be the same without it. As a game news website Gamespot hasn't really got anything over the other sites I visit, so unless this overhaul adds some new great features or fixes the site up considerably, I will probably not be coming here nearly as often, if at all.

Seems a bit serious to be typing up such a blog for the removal of a feature on a website, but I'd be lieing if I said unions/gamespot were not a big part of my life (more so a while ago when they were really busy). For this reason I felt the need to do anything to mark the end of unions. For some strange reason Gamespot has kept me coming back for years, and I feel like this could finally be the end. But probably not.

So thanks to all the members and unions I've came across, you know who you are!

Steam Sales are here!

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Summer is here (well kind of, UK weather is mostly awful), and obviously the best thing about summer is the steam summer sales!

So far I've picked up Space Marine and it's DLC (£9.99, not a bad price, and I'm LOVING the game so far, will write a review as soon as I've beat the campaign, if only I could tear myself away from the online!), MW 3 for £19.99, yes I hate Activision and all that, but I thought it was a pretty good price. I'm enjoying my first CoD on the PC (apart from CoD1), the graphical jump from console to PC also makes it seem like they've updated the graphics this time, at least for me! I'm playing Space Marine more at the moment, but I can see myself losing a few hours on this game over the summer.

Finally and most recently I just purchased the Hitman collection which is on sale today, for a measly 3.49! I was telling myself I wouldn't buy another game for a while, but as usual the sale prices have got me, I can't turn down three great games for that price. Even though I own at least one of them on the PS2 somewhere. Anyway I've never played through any of the hitman games entirely, so these should also keep me entertained through the summer.

Jeez, including all the indie bundles I picked up a while ago, I've got alot of games to keep me going.
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So anyone else splurging at the summer sales?

Deathy Hallows Part 2 - Mini Review

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There are some spoilers in here, but you've all read the books or seen the film :P If not you've been warned!

The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (the previous film) was a great movie in my opinion, certainly one of the best in the series, it was full of great scenes, mostly because it was taken faithfully from the book. However in splitting the book into two films, for Part 2 they had to squeeze about 10 chapters into a full length movie. This led to a need to grossly diverge many of the locations and events from the actual book, and a lot of important elements were missed out, as well as unwanted ones added. It's such a shame when they have to resort to Cliches such as Harry and Voldermort both crawling broken towards their wands like some sort of action thriller, and I don't remember the bit in the book where Harry and Voldermort jump struggling off a cliff.

Other minor details annoy me as well, for example one of Malfoys 'henchman' was replaced by a black student in the room of requirement scene where Harry is finding the diodem. I mean, is racial equality that bad that every scene now needs to have an even distribution, so much so that they change a scene from the book (instead of Crabbe/Goyle dieing some random character they invented for the purpose of that scene dies.) Also instead of killing Snape in the Shrieking Shack they decided to move that absolutely cIassic scene into the Hogwarts boathouse, which just felt like another unneeded cliche to make it look slightly more epic.

Don't get me wrong though, the movie was entertaining enough, but way more of the same. We've already seen the epic Red vs Green wand clash about twice in the series now, and it happened again, multiple times in the film. But at least they managed to make Voldemorts death look slightly more climactic and less sudden than it was in the book.

So to summarise, I found the film to be one of the weakest in the series, even if it was alright. Nothing really new was seen, despite it being the conclusion to an epic saga. Due to the decision to stretch the book into two films, Part 2 came seriously lacking in my opinion, and some people I've spoken to even found it to be a slog. But, if you are a Harry Potter fan or not I'd reccommend at least going to see the film. In fact if you are not a fan of the books you'll probably enjoy it even more.

SCORE - 6/10

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Have you seen the film yet? Do you agree or disagree with me?

Are you a fan of Game of Thrones (Ice and Fire series)?

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If you are a fan of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' the book series, or even just the TV show of the first novel (A Game of Thrones), then you may be interested in joining the new union set up by myself and a few others.

Go here to check the union out!

If you are a seasoned veteran of the series, then you'll feel at home at the new union, however please follow the rules and don't post spoilers in threads not clearly marked as spoiler threads! Similarly if you are new to the series and join up, be careful not to enter any threads with potential spoilers, but by all means join to talk about any books you have read, the new tv series, or even the 2 new Game of Throne video games coming out.

Even if you are not interested, check the union out to see the new theme I made :P. Thanks.

Can't... resist... Steam.. deals.

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The Steam summer camp sure does have some tempting deals. I've found myself buying games this and last week which I've been after for a while, and even some games I wouldn't usually buy. With some of the savings on these deals I'd feel stupid not buying these games. Even with about 5 games I haven't even downloaded yet I'm still tempted to get more and more games because they will likely never reach such low prices again!

One example of such a deal is the Valve complete pack, which includes the following games:

What's the price for this pack? Well it's been reduced to £24.99. Portal 2 which is still a relatively new game would probably go for more than that even if you bought it off Ebay, and it is included in the pack along with every other Valve game! The price is so ridiculous I was tempted to buy it, even though I already own the Orange Box, Portal 2 and both L4Ds on the 360, as well as the original Half Life games and Counter Strike on the PC. But even if you already own a few of these games the price is still probably worth it.

A few days ago I bought KOTOR 1 for £3.49, and Fallout New Vegas for £8.95. Today the Sims 3 Franchise is on sale, I've been wanting that game for a while, and it's now a bargain at £10. I also bought Dawn of War Retribution, which I've barely played as I'm still playing the actual DoW 2 game before the expansions, but I had to buy it because the amazing deal was for just the day.

Steam must make such a good profit during the Summer sales, even with the amazing prices! Everyone wins!

Valve having server problems?

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For at least a week now I have been trying to play TF 2 online, whenever I join an actual multiplayer game it plays fine for about 10 seconds but then I get an error message in the corner and it just freezes. The message looks something like this:

Connection Error
Auto-disconnect in 30.00 seconds

It's happened in every game I have joined, I can play offline practice fine and can even host games (but no one joined one yet), but in any multiplayer game it freezes after a short, random amount of time.

I searched for similar problems on the TF 2 forums, I found a few people with the same error, and in all of the threads people commented that they are having the same problem, and that it's Valves problem. I'm hoping it is anyway because I can play other online games fine, but my laptop is on a wireless connection with the router on the floor below so I was expecting some problems..

The exact same thing happened when I tried to play Counter Strike: Source as well. Which makes me think it is Valves servers.

So anyone else experiencing any problems? Or got any news if it is Valve and if they are fixing it?

PC Gaming - Never simple is it?

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So it was my birthday yesterday, and my main present was a new laptop, a TOSHIBA Satellite (I forget the exact model there is so many of them, but it's got 4GB RAM, intel i5 processor and an NVIDIA 1GB graphics card). So anyway the first game I wanted to try on it was Fallout 3 so I installed it with no problems. But now literally after a minute or so of play, every time it just crashes, I get an error message and have to Ctrl Alt Delete to end it.

I figured that getting a PC with a certain spec would enable you to play games that are years old and should easily play but apparently not. Fallout 3 crashed on my old laptop which had Vista, now this has Windows 7 that is the new problem that's stopping a game from working.

As amazing as you can get the graphics or sound, as cheap as the games are, and as good as the mod support is, I still think PC Gaming is inferior to console gaming simply because on a console you don't have to install it, don't have to make sure you have all the right things to play it, and (most of the time) you know a new game will work just by putting it in, and pressing ON.

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In other news though the new laptop is great, I do love the look of Windows 7 and everything is definately faster. Also Fallout 3 does look great, at least the Vault does, the only part of the game I have seen yet...

E3 most wanted, 20k posts

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If you are any fan of gaming you will know now that E3 is right around the corner, and I can't wait! Only 16 hours to go until the first main event, the Microsoft conference, which I am obviously looking forward to, being a 360 gamer. But anyway, here is a short list of the main things I'm looking forward to seeing in the coming week.

Let's begin..


HALO: CE - HD REMAKE

Despite the rather short lived and slightly dissapointing Halo Reach multiplayer I'm still a big Halo fan, and the rumours of a Halo Combat Evolved remake for the 360 is very tantalising. As long as they (they being 343 industries) stay true to the feel and atmosphere of the excellent original they can't go far wrong. Also incorporating the now standard features such as custom games, firefight, forge and theatre could make this game timeless.

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ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

How excited I am for this game cannot be put into a short paragraph like the one above, so I'm not going to try. If this game is even a 10th as good as I am expecting it to be it's going to be better than most games on the market. I'm expecting a reveal or something at E3 so can't wait!

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GEARS OF WAR 3

At first I was excited for this game, after playing the Beta for 4 whole weeks I am now ecstatic. Gears is probably my all time favourite series, both the multiplayer and campaigns of the two games were massively enjoyable for me, and I still play the games to this day. Gears of War 1 is one of my favourite games ever and despite feeling dated in certain areas I'd still choose it over any other shooter if I could only play one. Gears of War 3 is going to be amazing and I cannot wait.

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NEW NINTENDO CONSOLE

What? You thought it would all be XBOX 360 games? Sorry to dissapoint! One thing I am looking forward to being unveiled this E3 is the new Nintendo console. I usually watch all the major conferences, and I found the last few Nintendo ones to be boring, full of console sales statistics, and not many interesting games or announcements. This year I hope it's different, and the new console is named and detailed! I probably won't get one, but it's still going to be interesting seeing it for the first time along with the rest of the world!

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The list could go on for a while if I went through every game I am looking forward to this year, here's a few other titles that could be revealed that I want to see: Batman Arkham City, Assassins Creed, GTA 5 (not likely though), Mass Effect 3, Star Wars the Old Republic, MW 3, Battlefield 3....

But that's all for now for the main things I want to see.

In other news, I got 20k posts the other day, I've never been into post counts in a big way but thought it was worth mentioning!

So hope you all enjoy E3, I certainly will.

Thanks for reading.