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Rath3rDashing Blog

Games of the Year!

Following the example set by various other users, I decided i would do my own game of the year blog. This year has easily been the best year of gaming that i have ever experienced, beating out 2008 (which i actually found to be very average), and the legendary 1997. I am going to post 3 category's, Best games, Worst games, and i will also list the games i just missed but would still like to play. I wont be awarding any single game of the year, because i hate trying to choose stuff like that, all you need to know is, I either liked these games a lot, didn't like them all that much, or didn't play them :P

Best Games

- Metal Gear Solid 4 - I have been a HUGE metal gear fan since the first metal gear solid game on the ps1 back in 97, ever since the end of each game has left you desperate for answers, and gasping for a sequel. MGS4 was tasked with tying up the many loose ends, and doing so in a way that satisfies the huge fan-base the series has gained over the years. MGS4 accomplished its mission, it also vastly improved the game-play, revolutionised story telling, and is for me, the perfect sequel, and the perfect finally.

- Burnout Paradise - The first burnout game i have ever enjoyed, ironically became one of my all time favorite games. The terms free-roam or sandbox can be applied to all aspects of the game, from the single player mission structure, to the online multiplayer, you are truly free to play as you wish. Its also worth mentioning the support this game has received from criterion in the form of DLC. The game is still receiving large updates, with much more on the way. I also got this game for my 21st birthday :D, as if it isn't memorable enough.

- Gears of War 2 - Highly anticipated sequel to gears of war did not disappoint. Throughout the development process, Dude Huge was very vocal about how the game was "Bigger, Better and more Badass". While the frequency that quote was delivered became a little unbearable, it is easily the best way to describe the improvements made to the game. The single player co-op is one of the best co-op experiences available, the horde mode is probably THE best co-op experience available.

- Grand Theft Auto 4 - Much like burnout, i hadn't really enjoyed the previous installments in the series. To me, GTA always represented big sandbox games with large open worlds, and i have played each installment simply to look in awe at what is achievable by modern developers. I had never really enjoyed the story mode, for various reasons, I also didn't like the way each game just added more and more "stuff" you could do. GTA4 takes the usual approach but instead of the usual "add more stuff" philosophy, they refine the game-play and integrate a story in a way that leaves you with a truly unique experience. Needless to say, i am quite excited for the upcoming expansion.

HONORABLE MENTION

-Bionic Commando: Rearmed

-Braid

-Fallout 3

Worst Games

- Spider-Man: Web of Shadows - This game is seriously broken. So so so repetitive, it just seems like they had a solid concept, and a few good ideas, but in the end decided to pad them out by repeating the same missions over and over. If your a fan of spiderman, i recommend ultimate spiderman (ps2, ngc, xbox)

- Dark Sector - Again....this game is broken. All i am going to say is just stay away

- Far Cry 2 - I know, i know. There are probably worse games out there, but you will see there are a lot of games i didn't get round to. There isn't anything in particular i want to call out in this game, i think this is defiantly an issue of preference. I just found the game to be very boring.

Missed Games

I decided it would be easier to just show you my lovefilm list. Here it is :

xbox360 16 Mirror's Edge
xbox360 12 Prince of Persia
xbox360 15 Fable 2
ps3 15 Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe
xbox360 16 Tomb Raider: Underworld
ps3 16 Valkyria Chronicles
ps3 15 Alone in the Dark: Inferno
ps3 18 Bioshock
xbox360 15 Call of Duty: World at War
ps3 7 Little Big Planet
ps3 18 Resistance 2

So yea, i still have a lot of catching up to do, but still, what a great year :D.

Q1 next year should be a pretty good time, thanks to capcom. Bionic Commando, Street Fighter 4 and Resident Evil 5. Id love to hear what you all think about this year, and i hope you all have a great Christmas :D

-Dash out

My first level on little big planet

I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of one of the 5800 beta keys available from eurogamer. I never realised just how much I would love this game, but it is seriously an amazing game. You can literally do ANYTHING you can think up in a 2D space.

Here are a few screenshots from my first level. Basically I made big house way up at the very top of the map.

All these pics can be clicked for a larger size.

This is a car I made for me and cheeg to drive to the lift way down at the other side of the level

Here is the lift we use to get to the "House" :P

This our butler lol. He doesn't really do all that much. He just kinda follows us about in the lobby outside the lift.

This is Cheegs room

and this is my room :D

Its only been a day and I'm still learning. Earlier in the day I made a catapult but I didn't manage to get any pics of it.

Its really a great game. I keep thinking up all these ideas for things to make and just lose hours trying to implement them. The multiplayer is so much fun as well. The house in the pictures was made by me, Cheeg and my flatmate Pab in 3 player. Its really so so so much fun, but the best is yet to come. Once the online content sharing opens up the game will only get better from there.

Ill leave you with this picture i took of my sacboy in one of the early costumes.

Obligatory E3 Blog

This years E3 was by far the most underwhelming show i have seen during my years following the industry. The big three didn't really seem to do anything in there press events to excite the people back home. We cant be at the show, and we don't get to play the games so for the average Joe public the off the wall left field announcements are usually the highlight of the show for us. FF13 coming to the xbox 360 doesn't qualify as exciting to anyone with a ps3, that's not a fanboy statement, its just i have a ps3, before this announcement i was in a positions to get FF13, and after the announcement I'm in the same place. I'm obviously very excited about animal crossing but the rest of Nintendo's stats based snore fest diluted alot of the pleasure i got from that announcement. MAG sounds cool, but as it stands its nothing more than a concept.

Gamespots live show was really the highlight of E3 for me. They had stage demos of all the games i really cared about. Here is a brief summery of my thoughts on each big game


-Xbox 360

  • Gears of War 2 - I am seriously seriously stoked for gears 2. It looks like a serious improvement on the first game, and since the first game is my favorite game on the 360, i don't think i will be disappointed here
  • Fable 2 - I never actually played much of fable 1 so this wasn't a title that interested me a whole lot, but after seeing the way they have implemented co-op they have certainly caught my attention.
  • XBLA - The future is bright. Geo wars 2 and portal still alive will definitely be getting bought.
  • Fall Update - If its not broke, don't fix it. I'm yet to be convinced.


-PS3

  • InFamous - This is my game of show. I am a fool for anything super hero related, and crackdown was one of my favorite games last year, and based on the live demo they did on gamespot infamous is a massive improvement on that solid formula
  • Little Big Planet - Continues to impress
  • Resistance 2 - I was sold at 8 player co-op. I don't think this game will really do many new things with gameplay, but the boundary's of scale will be pushed in every field
  • Killzone 2 - I'm kind of indifferent about this game. I appreciate it looks pretty, but I'm going to need to see a bit more before i add it to my purchase list.
  • Home - Has just taken too long now. I find that if a game takes too long between announcement and release it can completely kill hype. This is a prime case of that.


- Wii

  • Animal Crossing - I cant wait.
  • Wii Sports resort - I was actually quite a big fan of wii sports, so i will probably pick this game up.
  • Wii music - With all the current music games on the market nintendo thought it was a good idea to release this? The plot has been lost.


- Multi-Platform

  • The Force Unleased - This looks like a real return to form for lucasarts. I'm a huge fan of JKA and star wars in general, so i hope to enjoy this game. Shame there is no multiplayer in the 360 and ps3 versions, it might have bumped this game down to a rent for me.
  • Mirrors Edge - There's something about this game that just doesn't sit right with me. Looks kinda cool i guess.
  • Far Cry 2 - Visually stunning. I was stunned when watching the live demo when i realised it was being played on a 360. I thought maybe a ps3, but the 360, wow. Impressive
  • Fallout 3 - Looked like a very interesting game, but i think i really need to play the older games to get excited about it
  • Resident Evil 5 - RE4 was one of my favorite games of all time. RE5 looks like a more action packed version of 4, but now with co-op. It should be an amazing game.
  • Left 4 Dead - I will play most games if they have co-op in. I will also play most games developed by valve. So i will prolly play left 4 dead :P


So yea, Looks like its going to be an expensive year.

Last week i was lucky enough to win the Citizen Game podcast swag competition. It won me the Blizzard invitational exclusive wow pet, mini tyrael :D. If you listen to this weeks podcast you can hear my entry lol. Go Legomans!

You can click the images for a bigger version. I won some other stuff as well but I'm still waiting for it to arrive. Ill update this blog with some pics when it shows up.

and Finally, The Giant bomb beta started up this morning. If anyone wants to add me as a friend my user name RatherDashing. I don't plan on leaving gamespot for giant bomb or anything that drastic. In-fact if i cant find a nice quite and calm community on giant bomb my stay on the site might be drastically short.

Wow that was long. Thanks to anyone who read it all :P

-Dash out

I fell off the wagon :P

Im back on animal crossing.

All this e3 animal crossing wii business got me just too excited and i ended up going back to my old town.

I took some pics of my favorite townsfolk along with my avatar, Dash.

This is Dash Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Pudge Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

and Stiches Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Animal Crossing is the closest i have ever come to a full blown addiction lol. I can play and enjoy wow, but i can always quit, but to me animal crossing is serious business lol. Its good to be back :P

Comic!

Me and lant have been having a go at making some kind of "web" "comic". With penny arcade as the inspiration we picked a news topic from kotaku, i drew the comic, we discussed the script and when it came down to doing the colouring we both ended up with out own versions lol. So here they are.

Before you read them i should warn you one version does feature some "bad" language lol

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

I wont say whos is whos is whos. All feedback is welcome :D

Dashing Octopus

I finished metal gear again. Me and charli have been staying with family this week, so my play time has been seriously limited. I only took my HDMI cables for my ps3 so i can only play metal gear on charli's dads HDtv when no one is using it. However despite this i have managed to finish the game a second time, again on the solid normal difficulty, only this time I did it without killing anyone, and without being seen once. For this i was rewarded not only the Bandanna (granting me unlimited ammo) but the stealth suit also, and the rank of octopus. It wasn't a massively difficult task to be honest. The first 4 acts where pretty straight forward. The only part that gave me issues was the start of act 5. It was a total nightmare doing the start of act 5 without being seen by anyone.

I took this opportunity to try out the in-game camera. I took these pics in act1 just after meeting up with the metal gear mk2 so they are both spoiler free, but nicely show off my stealth suit in action.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

MGO is unplayable on my horrendous internet connection at the moment, but my year contract runs out on the 4th of july and i plan to upgrade to a 10meg connection. Once i have this connection i would like to try and put a clan together of some kind. Ive played a few games while im staying here on a reasonable connection and i just love it. The potential the game could have if played with a solid team of people all on head sets using SOP to its full potential. Could be an amazing game, if enough people decided to play it right. Ill blog more about this once im in a better possition to play it more and once ive got the mgs4 headset.

-Dash out

Dashing Eagle

I finished it :D

In-case you don't know me, "it" is MGS4. I managed to get it a little early. My rooms-mates friend works at gamestation and he got us a copy each last night. I started playing at around 6.30pm and finished it just now at 12.49pm. I played all through the night armed with nothing but my DualShock 3 and a 6 pack of redbull.

I don't want to spoil this for ANYONE, so all i am going to say is as the massive metal gear solid fan that i am, this game was everything i hoped for and more. I cant stress enough how much i loved this game. It was a truly incredible media experience.

Now i guess ill play a little MGO, or maybe see if gamefaqs has any secrets for me to go look for.

-Dash out

P.S. Eagle was my rank when i finished, if anyone was looking at the blog title with confusion :P

brb..

I hear there are metal gear solid 4 spoilers about, so im going into "hiding" untill after ive finished the game.

See you in a week :P

-Dash out

EA and The Inventive Ways They Screw You

A few months ago EA invoked the rage of most of the games industry when they announced they would be charging people for weapons in their upcoming Battlefield game, Battlefield: Bad Company. This effectively meant not buying the content would leave you at a disadvantage to all the users who did decide to pay. The uproar seemed to be too much for them in the end though, and they decided to drop the idea all together, or so it seemed.

They may not be charging us for this extra content, instead replacing the fee with a series of ludicrous hoops to jump through. What I am referring to is the various exclusive content deals that have been made. It was first brought to my attention earlier today when I achieved the final rank available in the demo. The game informed me that upon completion of this task I had unlocked a weapon in the main game, that can only be obtained by playing and finishing this demo. I didn't find this to be too much of a problem. I had been playing the game with Lant and we found the game to be quite impressive. When looking into purchasing the game Lant came across this. For those who don't feel like clicking, pre-ordering with play.com gets you a code to unlock the QBU-88, yet another exclusive weapon.

The straw that broke the donkeys back was the "Gold" edition of the game. The Gold edition, amongst other things, gives you access to 5 weapons only available in the game by achieving the highest multiplayer rank available. I can't find any pricing information on this "privilege", where EA effectively finish the game for you, but I imagine it will be slightly more expensive than the standard edition.

It's not a strange occurrence nowadays to find something like a limited edition of a game exclusive to a particular store, but this definately crosses the line. The limited edition isn't just a bunch of "making of" movies, art work or music. This is game content, and not even single player game content like they did with Spider-Man 3 and the new goblin. This is multiplayer content, where you have the choice of working to get these weapons, or to just have them straight away. Will the people who got the gold edition be allowed to play with the non-gold players? Does this mean the people who decided to play the game properly will have to put up with people running around with these end game weapons all the time? It tarnishes the achievement.

The pre-order presents an issue of it's own, if you want to play this game competitively on an even playing field you need to have finished the demo and pre-ordered from play.com. Effectively people who don't decide to buy this game before it is released will be at a disadvantage. This isn't just a decision that is going to make them more money, it's a decision that could take a quality game and make it totally broken. I don't agree with many of todays exclusivity deals, but I accept most of them as business, and as long as they don't affect the game I'm willing to turn a blind eye, but I think it's stupid moves like this that are going to have a seriously negative effect on the industry.

The worst part about all of this is that the game is seriously awesome. It is a true credit to the battlefield series. I just think we need to draw a line on what is acceptable. I will probably buy the game, but I wont be getting it from play.com, and I won't be getting the Gold edition. Vote with your wallet.

-Dash out

As if i wasn't bored enough...

My macbook died. I've only been a mac user for about 10 months now or something so I'm still learning things, but based on my amateur diagnosis the hard drive has failed.

Does anyone else find hard drive failure a little.... anti climactic? I pretty much had my life on that laptop, from school work to all my personal endeavours, and it was all destroyed without so much as a sound. They could at least explode or something, if I saw a little fire I might feel like my loss was worth it. But hey, life goes on.

I have been in contact with Apple and I'm going to one of their stores tomorrow to see what they can do for me. It's still under warranty so I'm hopeful. It just a shame I'm going to lose all that data.

Currently I'm staying with my mum back in St. Helens, so I don't even have my consoles for "comfort". I plan to get to work on some DS and PSP games. I still haven't finished the Metal Gear Ac!d games, so they should help me waste some time. I'm also working on improving my high score on Tetris DS. On line clear mode I have the highest score possible with 200 000, on marathon my high score is 972 000, and finally my endless score is 7 678 000.

Anyways, as I said I'll be visiting the apple store tomorrow so I will update this blog with the "results".

-Dash out

(UPDATE) So i went to the apple store today and my laptop has been sent off for repair. They said it was infact hard drive failure and they can't recover my files. I should have it back in about 2 weeks, which i suppose i can't complain about. When i get back to manchester i will have to setup either my old laptop or my tower. Either way ill be stuck with windows :(. I should be able to use the cheegs laptop or my sisters computer untill then.

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