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Little Big Planet Contest (with hidden prizes)

UK users may have noticed an extra button on the Little Big Planet Game page that links to a contest - or the whacking big promotion for it on the homepage.

In case you missed it the link is here:

http://uk.gamespot.com/promos/2008/littlebigplanet/

Although the big prize is obviously the chance to have your level in the game and a PS3. But there are also some great sackboy runner up prizes. The hidden prize though is I heard that the winner will get a unique GameSpot badge. It will be one of the rarest as I think only the winner gets it.

I wish I could enter!

WAR is coming - and it's got friends

Only 3 more days to go until those that pre-ordered Warhammer Online in the US or bought the pre-order box in the EU will be able to download the game client and join the open beta.

Tomorrow morning the site http://www.war-europe.com will re-open and you can enter your beta codes and reserve a character name. Guess now Jeff isn't around "GameSpotting" is up for grabs J

Might have to dump the Football manager live beta to give this game the time and attention it deserves…

HMV seem to be the only place in Europe that still has Collector's Edition boxes and the staff don't know it. Pre-ordered mine so they better not unknowingly sell my box to someone else.

A few of us were dying to find out the server and character name of that IGN live wire presenter to and beat the hell out of her online (she's so annoying) but turns out EA are dumping EU players on GOA so there will be separate servers, support and no EU players teaming up or battling against US players.

With Spore (sept), WAR (sept), Farcry 2 (Oct), Starcraft II (Nov - maybe) coming out this year I'm taking the whole of December off to get my game on. Kind of glad Stargate Worlds slipped to 2009 – give me some time to get my teeth in to WAR. Star Wars: The Force Unleased (SWTFU) is listed as a Sept release on GameSpot and Game.co.uk but I seriously doubt it will be out until Xmas or 2009 Play.com have already removed it from their site.

release dates source Play.com unless specified otherwise...

Wii Friend Code

Finally worked out how to find my Wii friend code. Add me if you're ever up for a game of Super Smash Bros Brawl or any of the other multiplayer games or just to send me a message.

2108 6874 9044 0950

Spore Creature Creator Customers get Rebate (but is it a con?)

EA sent out an email today to those that purchased the full Spore Creature creator with a discount code to receive the amount they paid for the Creature tool off the their purchase of the full game.

It appears this offer only works if you pre-order through EA.

I've had my copy Spore pre-ordered at Play.com for months. I was about to cancel my Pre-order until I saw that a digital download version of Spore for PC from EA costs £39.99 where as I pre-ordered mine from Play.com for jus t£26.99!

Doing the math is easy £4.99 off the £40 bucks EA is charging is still a full £7 more than from Play.com which actually sends me a physical copy of the game.

The price was for the early birds that pre-ordered months ago but even now you can pre-order spore for £29.99 at Play.com incl delivery.

I don't regret getting the Creature Creator as I've had loads of fun with it and I am all set to start playing with them on launch day but feel the rebate should have been cash back when you purchase the game even if not for the full RRP from EA direct.

Free Game for Nokia phones

As you may have seen on a recent episode of START/SELECT Nokia is relaunching it's N-Gage brand as a software download on it's recent handsets. GameSpot UK and EA are giving away thousands of copies of FIFA 2008 for compatible Nokia handsets - you just have to download the N-Gage software.

Check out the details here

My Social Life is over

With Stargate Worlds Beta invites been sent out last night, Lost coming back to our screens tonight (US, Sunday for UK) and Wii Fit landing this weekend, the little free time I had is about to disappear.

Stargate Worlds promises to be the most exciting MMO in years. It has taken risks by trying some very different and interesting game mechanics - especially with combat. The developers are really listening to the players even when it comes to fine tuning the tools used report bugs/make suggestions in the beta. The Beta is initially going to be closed and under NDA so if I'm in I can't tell you about it until the NDA ends but I will be compiling the best info, screenshots and video I can for my preview.

Lost fans can celebrate the wait is over and the answers are coming - or so we are told. If you've been filling in the time during the mid-season break with the Lost Game then you will be suffering a little less than the rest of us fans who are experiencing withdrawl symptoms from not seeing what's going on on the island.

My unused Gym membership pass that I carry around in my wallet has done nothing for me but when Wii Fit comes out the fun get fit techniques will hopefully get me to actually excercise. The Wii Fit GameSpot Videos of it in action and of couse the great Nintendo trialers make this look like the must have console accessorie of the summer.

Wii Fit sells out in UK

No big surprise to find that Wii Fit is sold out accross the UK already. Most stores are no longer taking pre-orders and the makers of Wii Stock finder site wiipreorder.co.uk have added a section just for Wii Fit - http://www.wiipreorder.co.uk/wii-fit.aspx

Seems that just Toys'r'us and Simplygames.com still taking pre-orders.

Is it that Nintendo just have no clue on judging demand, can't build them fast enough or just want to make Wii owners go crazy!

This only fuels the speculation around Wii stock of consoles and high demand games/accessories always running out of stock being a clever tactic by Nintendo to give the impression that Wii is such an indemand and precious commoditity.

Whatever the reason it's got me pre-ordering Wii gear as soon as it's announced to avoid the painful waits and fighting off other frenzied Wii owners trying to get the last scraps.

Play.com Live event at wembley

Play Live

It isn't often we get big gaming events in London so I was looking forward to Play.com's Live show at Wembley at the weekend.
Me and Soul Calibre 4 characters

Highlights

Although a vast majority of the games on show were already available in stores for some time there were a few unreleased titles to get my grubby hands on. I had a play with Haze, Gran Tourismo 4 prologue, Football Manager Live, God of War for PSP, Bourne Conspiracy, Grid, and Rock band

Plus there were a closed show and tell of Farcry 2 which was the big highlight of the event.

Aswell as the games they had some other entertainment to keep the crowds happy. This including some bands, blu-ray movie demos and of course the booth babes. Ubisoft clearly spent the most on the booth babes with a near constant performance by the Rainbow Six Vegas 2 Show girls to Elvis' Viva Las Vegas.

There were numerous contests including prizes of trips to Las Vegas (courtesy of Ubisoft), PS3s, 360s and a brand new Ducati motorbike (from Sandisk).

Sandisk booth babe on Ducati prize

Microsoft
It was clear Microsoft was looking to expand its demographic from just hardcore games as there was a serious push for the casual gamer market. Reps were announcing "xbox is for the whole family" and had a selection of casual games and events. This included a dancemat game with dance off contests and some recent xbox live arcade casual games. I also got preached to about the xbox arcade price drop making it the cheapest next/current Gen console.

Playstation
Playstation seemed to be focusing on promoting their "coming soon" line up as there isn't a great selection already out. They had rolling demos of Street fighter 4, Little Big planet, Haze and the same tired old Killzone2 trialer.

The main feature was a Gran Tourismo 4 contest. 4 PS3s were set up in race car rigs and fastest lapt times won prizes and a chance to go to the finals at another event and win £50,000. Needless to say I failed to come close to the target time. In my defense I forgot to adjust the seat and so the brake was so close to my foot I was constantly pressing it without realising and had to move my foot to the left whenever I wanted to not break instead of just easing back - not a problem I'd have in my living room if I do get this game.

While Most of the screens at the show were the black Samsung screens that seem to be becoming the HD standard Playstation were using beautiful Sony Screens that looked vastly superior to the samsung ones and made the 1080p games look even better.

Wii
There was a poor showing for Wii, which as a Wii owner was disappointing for me. Only the niche and obscure games appeared at the show and then only in the developer boths like THQ and Sega. Nintendo had no dedicated area. At least the Wii games had the smartest booth babes of the show who actually knew how to play and demo the games

Missing
I was sad not to see Force Unleashed, Spore, or Super Smash Bros Brawl at the event.

Laughable
There were a few things at the event that were simply laughable

Mac gaming - A row of Macs running games that had been out on PC for 2yrs+ including titles like Quake 4 and Neverwinter Nights. LMAO

Booth babes that knew nothing about the games. I asked the God of War babe about how to do a particular attack and she admitted to have only played the game for 10mins and could only tell me how to open doors. Brilliant.

Scalectrix!? I think it was an iWant sponsored event but they had a scalectrix set up in a prominent position and some related contest. They also had Dr Who and what I can only describe as Nerd gadgets for sale. On 1 hand they are trying to show gaming is for everyone and on the other hand they are viewing gamers as supernerds that would be into the obscure stuff they were selling.

Rainbow six Vegas 2 Show girls

Games

Haze
- Visually top notch although not breath taking
- Game play was fluid and paced right
- Nothing to get too excited about
- easy to get lost. Most people stopped playing not when they died but when they couldn't find the next objective
Haze Poster

Farcry 2
- Looks even better than in the videos
- Running a November build on windows XP looked breath taking and being assured that latest build is looking much better plus there is a DX10 version which will add extra eye candy
- Incredible AI leading to great replayability - No scripted event, NPCs go and do what they want. Buddies that can help you out. Killing an NPC or buddies is permanent and causes reprocussions. For example killing a leader of a clan will cause the next in line to take his place and he may have a completely different character to the last leader.
- coming out on PS3 360 and PC


Gran Tourismo 4 on PS3

GT4 Prologue
- most visually impressive driving game I've ever seen. First in 1080p
- handles a lot better than PGR4
- features TV options in the game menu including watching car related shows like top gear


Football Manager Live
- Great vision by the developers
- Can really see it has been 5 years in the making
- Every Football manager wannabee's dream
- can't say too much now have to listen to the podcast on Friday

Darts 08
- Only booth were the booth babe had actually played the game for more than 5mins
- Game control was surprisingly accurate, good combination of IR sensor and gyro/accelerometer

God of War for PSP
- Cannot believe it was running on a standard PSP. Incredible the graphics and running really smooth.
- Must have for PSP owners

Army of Two
- Interesting new game mechanics make it stand out from the swarm of other fps shooters now on consoles
- Steep learning curve if you skip the tutorial
- encourages tactics and team work (aggro management, back2back, using shields, healing)

Ghostbusters rolling demo
- Graphically looked like a PS2 game.
- Seems the Wii version of this game would be much more fun than other formats with the tools the Ghostbuster team use suiting the wii remote

Condemned rolling demo
- Stuff we've all seen before

There was an Unreal Tournament 3 Lan contest but seemed to be only for organised clans. There were some top clans their from Germany and US all sponsored up and playing like they were super robots.

UT3 Lan tournament

Freebies
- Managed to grab hold of 3 DVDs over the two days. Knocked up, Ice Age and Spongebob movie
- Final Fantasy Posters
- Key fob and Metal car reg plate form Stuntman
- Mini book/comic from Conan

More pics on my flickr

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