wonderboy_46 / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
796 126 190

wonderboy_46 Blog

DiRT 3 review

As well as freelancing for GameSpot UK I also write for a small website called Citizen Game which started out as a hobby project created by several GameSpot users.

Head over there to check out my review of DiRT 3!

Its been a while!

Its been a long time since I last updated my blog on GameSpot and its started to look a little bit shabby, so here's an update on what I've been doing for the last year or so.

Last October I did an editorial internship at GameSpot UK where I was able to learn to improve my writing style and consistency. I was given the opportunity to attend and write about several preview events, for titles such as GoldenEye (Wii) and Duke Nukem Forever (PC). I recorded footage for video reviews & gameplay clips and took screenshots. All of the F1 2010 footage on GameSpot is of me playing the game and the awesome goal scored in the FIFA 11 video review is by me, playing against Guy Cocker. I also wrote news stories for GSUK, such as this one about the UK games chart, and made 2 appearances on the GameSpot UK podcast. The whole experience of being around the guys at GSUK allowed me to learn more in 1 month than I had in 2 years of working on smaller sites!

Towards the end of my internship I was given the chance to start writing reviews for GameSpot and I have continued to provide reviews for the website as a freelancer. My work so far has included Hydrophobia(360), WRC: World Rally Championship (360/PS3), FIFA 11 (Wii), Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (Wii), MotoGP 10/11(360/PS3), Shift 2: Unleashed (360/PS3) and WSC Real 11: World Snooker Championship (360/PS3). I'm also working on a couple more reviews at the moment so look out for them soon!

Well, my GameSpot blog looks a lot more up-to-date now. I'm off to play Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend" in Rock Band 3. Its guilty pleasure time!

My top 10 of 2009

10. The House of The Dead: Overkill (Wii)

This year hasn't been a great one for the Wii, particularly when it comes to third party titles. However, old skool light-gun shooters have always been a perfect fit for the Wii Remote and The House of The Dead: Overkill is no exception. Admittedly, you'll get much more enjoyment from the insane story than you will from the gameplay, but it's worth every penny. Very few games are as funny as this one, with ingenious B-Movie writing and the most F-bombs in video game history, you'll be hard pressed to find as many laughs packed into one box anywhere else.

9. Killzone 2 (PS3)

When it comes to console exclusives the PS3 has had a phenomenal year compared to its rivals. Killzone 2 is easily one of the best console FPS's of all time, with mind-blowing visuals and a surprisingly good multiplayer experience. Modern Warfare 2 may have grabbed all of the headlines, but Killzone was most definitely the preferred choice for the more discerning console gamer.

8. The Beatles: Rock Band (360)

You could definitely argue that the rhythm game formula began to get a little tired in 2009, but The Beatles: Rock Band stood out amongst the other, unimaginative Rock Band and Guitar Hero releases. The use of the band's catalogue was near-perfect (except for the omission of "Hey Jude") and the art was second to none. This game has the potential to be just as timeless as the music of Fab Four.

7. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

It might not score any points for innovation, but New Super Mario Bros Wii is exactly the sort of game the Wii has been crying out for. A chance for young gamers and older newcomers to experience one of the most loved game genres and to share that experience with friends as well. At the same time, Mario veterans could enjoy a superb new Mario adventure with loads of new levels. Just one look at a YouTube search for game clips shows that the hardcore certainly haven't been put off!

6. FIFA 10 (360)

Matching the huge leap forward that was FIFA 09 was always going to be a difficult task for EA Sports. Instead, FIFA 10 refined and improved on what was already comfortably the best soccer game on the current generation of consoles. As a result of the massive improvements to Manager Mode, AI and animation, FIFA 10 is now a real contender to be crowned as the greatest soccer game ever made.

5. Colin McRae: DiRT 2 (360)

The first DiRT was an entertaining, but somewhat unrealistic off-road racer. This year's sequel though was nigh on perfect. It had graphics that would give Gran Turismo a run for its money, a superb selection of different vehicle types and a wonderful online mode. Sure, the "EXTREME" nature of its presentation and voice-overs may have grated just a little by the end, but if you consider yourself a racing fan, then you would be doing yourself a massive disservice by avoiding this latest example of Codies' racing genius.

4. Assassin's Creed II (360)

ACII was a game that promised so much and thankfully still managed to deliver. Everything that was an issue in the first game was cleaned up and polished until it shone. Ezio was even more fun to control than Altair and the twists in the plot were the sorts of things only Kojima would normally dare to dream up. The most important thing this time though was that, not only were the environments beautiful, but there was now a fantastic game to play as you moved through them. Ubi Soft learned from their mistakes with the first Assassin's Creed and players were richly rewarded.

3. Forza Motorsport 3 (360)

If DiRT 2 was off-road perfection, then Forza 3 was most certainly the king of the tarmac. The previous entry in the series felt like Gran Turismo's desperate ugly sister, but this year's game has the potential to be the first real challenger to GT's racing crown in over a decade. From improved graphics, to cockpit cameras, to better circuits and the incredible use of user-created content, Forza 3 really has it all. It's the kitchen sink design philosophy applied to a racing sim, but every element has been scrutinized to perfection. This is no longer a "me too" racing franchise. In Forza 3 you can tell that the developers love motorsport and that they love their game. It's that infectious sense of fun that makes this racer take the checkered flag ahead of so many others.

2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

Like so many new IPs, the first Uncharted showed great promise, but also a great many flaws. However, with the genius of Naughty Dog behind it, a great game could never be very far away. Among Thieves was most definitely the stand-out game amongst a whole raft of brilliant PS3 exclusives this year. The story-telling and animation is unrivalled by anything else this year and the graphics truly are the pinnacle that this generation of consoles has to offer. The multiplayer may have felt a little tacked on, but finding a better single player game in 2009 was almost impossible. So, in that case, what game did that little bit extra to be my number 1?

1. Batman: Arkham Asylum (360)

I would be a liar if I said there was no bias in my selecting Batman for number 1, as I have been an enormous fan of the character since I was a very young child. Arkham Asylum did one thing that no other game featuring The Dark Knight has ever managed before; it made you feel like Batman. Controlling The Caped Crusader, either in combat, or hiding in the shadows, was wonderfully immersive. No other Batman game ever captured each and every moment of its story and gameplay with such a feeling of wonder and personal involvement from player.

So that's why it stood out as a Batman game, but it also stood out above everything else that came out this year for one simple reason: atmosphere. The environment of Arkham Asylum became the most important character in the game. Every area of Arkham Island was instantly recognisable and as the island was manipulated and affected by the characters in the game, you could feel all of these changes happening as you played. No other game this year captured a time and a place, real or fictional, as well as Rocksteady captured Arkham Asylum. That is why it's my number 1 for 2009.

Podcasting and a new review.

Feels like it's been a while since I posted here so here's a bit of info about what's been happening with me lately.

Last week I started my third journalism job in the video game industry. I now write reviews for three websites: HookedGamers.com , GameSpot (occasionally) and now CitizenGame.co.uk as well, which is operated by popular GameSpot user dannyodwyer.

In starting at Citizen Game I've also made my first appearance on a podcast, the Citizen Gamecast. You can listen to it hereand also subscribe on iTunes if you like!

Finally, I've written a review for Lego Rock Bandwhich you can read, on CitizenGame.co.uk , here.