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airsoftmanic Blog

EA and Ubisoft Conferences

i thought i'd bundle these up into one since not much happened on the Ubisoft one.

first up was EA and i admit, so far its been the only one i thought to be the only one worth watching. Dead Space 2 (i creamed a little when it was shown) looks awesome and crisp so no more to be said here.

bulletstorm was amusing to watch and contained the quote of the day "You sacred the DICK off me". i couldnt stop laughing. cliffy also had the second clip of the day "or a fat kid with some cake". damn that one had to hit home for some viewers.

EA sports was just a big chuck of the show which could have been used to bang out some Space Marine info.

plus all the casual Kinect/Move rubbish.

Ubisoft started and the whole IRC channel was like "OMG. I CAN SEE FOREVER:THE GAME". i was wondering if he had noticed that the show had started.

basically a sea of vomit here, with alot of casual stuff, an attempt to rip off laser quest and a few unimportant games.

the only gem of the evening was ghost recon: future warfighter. which im glad to say, is looking to be a good installment and a game that i would want to play.

hey guys, look, they've still got five minutes left.

oh god please be HAWX2. please. pretty please.

*sees Michael Jackson: the game*

.....

.....

ALL IS LOST! ALL IS LOST!

THE DEATH OF GAMING IS UPON US!

E3 Microsoft Conference impressions

now that the first of the trio has presented i'd thought id do a trilogy of blogs in light of nothing else to do with my time.

so, E3 has come again. my impressions on the MS conference.

to sum it up in one word, that word would be trainwreck. so much was poorly done and nothing particularly interesting was shown that it felt like the show wasnt about showing gamers what was to come, more like a slap in the face at Xbox's core demographic.

first up was CoD:BO. it was reasonable but it just seemed like they had copy pasted MW2 and just re-did some textures. maybe worth a rent at best but no further.

next up was metal gear rising. now i didnt actually watch this part since i had dinner to attend to but from my friend who was also watching said that i didnt miss much. fair enough.

Gears 3 was up next and i was impressed. simply because gears is a formula that can only be improved by expanding current parts. more executions, better storyline etc. so this one i think ill give the big "buy" stamp of approval.

after gears 3 was the start of the inevitable trainwreck. nata...sorry. KINECT. they should have just stuck with the original name.

endless drivel about the "future of gaming" when 3/4 of the stuff they showed wasnt even about games. what really pissed me off was the uspn add-on they plugged. its an AMERICAN show with exclusively AMERICAN sports. way to go microsoft, you've just proven your the stereotypical american who can only point to "USA" on the map.

the actors freaked me out. its like all of them had been given industrial strength dopamine before being shoved out on stage to flail around for a couple of minutes.

and i was in full 100% wtf mode when the little girl came on.

overall the games section and natal (kinect) section were like watching a pile up of trains with more on the way. not one "decent" game being dev'd for the kinect sickens me to the bowels of my stomache.

the unveiling of the new 360 wasnt a shock since i already knew about it a few days before. but the release date did shock me. i was expecting christmas at minimum. so that really pleased me, along with the 250gb hard drive and N wireless internal and enough vents to cool a nuclear facility has made me a happy bunny. so long as the hard drives are the same at the old ones.

so for microsoft i think its going to be last place on the podium this year. along with not even a hint of Space Marine, they get the coveted "multiple train pile up" award for worst and cringe-worthy E3 conference of the year. i know we havent seen them all yet, but if any of them are worse than MS, they have no hope at all.

Games Workshop, Pokemon and Super Mario Galaxy 2.

sup guys and gals.

its been a while since my last posting and i thought this would be a good time as any to post a new one up.

first off, ive almost finished my second year of University! 2 more exams and im home-free (in a manner of speaking).

okay, down to business.

the first topic im going to mention, and feel free to skip this part if it doesnt interest you, is Games Workshop's announcement that the prices for certain models and books are going to be increased. im not particularly keen on the price rise in general, but i can live with it since there's always ebay and Gifts for Geeks (if you're in the UK and into GW stuff, check them out) for me to buy stuff from, but my main beef with this is two things. the starter set is going up and so are the codexes.

if you're in the business of hobbies, then you would naturally assume that you would want to get as many people into the hobby as you possibly could right? it makes perfect, logical sense. more people == more money.

it seems as though logic has brushed past the big-wigs in this case and they decided that it would be a good target for a price rise. WHY???? its already £50, soon to be £55, how many kids (or should i say, kid's parents) are going to be willing to part with this amount of cash just to start the hobby, not to mention the paints, brushes, codexes, a battleforce of chosen race and beyond. its just silly.

codexes are the same but also have another reason. the two reasons most people can think of for this price rise are as follows, increase in plastic prices and the economy. if its the plastic prices, why increase the price of a PAPER book? sure its got plastic coverings but not enough to warrant a price rise. the economy is easier to understand, its a business and it needs to protect its bank balance, but surely it would have been easier and i think abit more accepted by the community if they had just increased the price of some more models since not all models have been increased. i did have a link to the full price increase list but ive lost it, but i can tell you that some races were hit less that others. mainly, warhammer 40k has taken the brunt of it while some original warhammer players have got off completely scot-free. could this be seen as a push by GW to get more people into the original warhammer? could be. but also the apocylpse rulebooks have been unaffected. if anything i though that would be no.1 priority to rise since its getting quite big now and to scrape a few extra shrapnel from people would be a company's wet dream. apparently that logic also bemused the GW staff.

i hope these price increases arnt going to be permanent, or worse, part of an uphill struggle of ever-increasing price-rises till no-one is left actually buying anything and the tabletop gamer becomes a thing of the past.

anyway, onto pokemon.

i know this might come as a bit of a confusing topic to people, considering i might be considered the type to be holding a pulse carbine rather than a bandolier of poke balls but bear with me.

since i officially ended Uni (about a month or so ago) i literally had nothing to do (except revision, but who does that?) and my library of games became dormant, Conviction was rubbish (i hated the run'n'gun philosaphy ubi debased themselves to) and just cause 2 just bored me after a while (still got it so i can get back into it when i feel like it) so i turned my head back to the PC. i was doing the occasional thing on runescape (in my group of peopel, runescape became amusing again) but that wasnt really "fun" so to speak. so i cracked out my old gameboy and started a personal challenge. how many pokemon games could i complete before my third and final year after my placement? roughly around a year and 4 months. so i started blue up again (after blowing about a cubic foot of dust from the cartridge) and was amazed i ever put it down. i played and played and played for hours, even getting to the point where i was playing it in bed while watching late night TV (top gear can burn hours of time) and even though ive been playing it for months, still havent finished it. i could have blown through it by now but i told myself "its not about just grinding through them, its about 100% the game, finding every little secret and to catch them all (i know, even i cringed while typing it)" so i did just that, reading through the guide again (yes, i had the guide to blue/red/yellow) and catching as many as i could. got to around 137 now so im almost there. but then i had another little argument in my head "is just catching them enough? should i max them all out? that would take forever, but hey, a year and 4 months is a long time". im still deciding it and if anyone wants to give me a reccommendation, im all ears.

but now its coming to a close, ive got red to do, since red has its own pokemon that blue doesnt, but then this also got me wondering "do i really have to catch all 150 again? just for around 13 pokemon?" i finally decided that it was not a good idea to make catching the same pokemon over and over again on every single game a compulsory task, so it become a thing that was good if i did, but i could leave it happy that i had got them in a previous game. now my next big beef is this, i never went past yellow. my pokemon journey ended at yellow since i was young back then and replaying the same game 3 times was boring for me. so i was wondering whether to use an emulator for the other games, but i thought, you heretic! that is the way of the pirate! go on ebay and buy the buggers!. so that is what im going to do. it also occured to me that i would be travelling alot over the placement year, so having an SP to hand would not be too bad. i might get some odd looks from the middle aged men but who cares?

anyway, enough of pokemon, now to grill on something im getting really annoyed at

Super Mario Galaxy 2. and title i have now put in my copy/paste book because im getting sick of typing it. now, i have not played SMG2, but i have played the first game so i know what to expect from the second. ive checked out all the gameplay vids i can and have a rough idea of the whole game. and i must admit that it does look like a good addition to the mario brand. but i think gamespot and ign are either seeing stars in an unhealthy, drug-induced manner, or they were taking bribes from nintendo. 10's?. seriously??? and not one of them lists a single flaw of the game. for christs sake even halo 3, gamespot's holy game of which im sure they gush to every night, only got a 9.5.

not many games are allowed the perfect 10 score, only the greatest games OF ALL TIME have ever got 10's (although i look to GTA4 and its unbalanced scores to tell me not all games deserve that score but are given it regardless). so SMG2 is one of the greatest games of all time is it? im here to tell you that is blown from where the sun dont shine.

dont get me wrong, from what ive seen, it looks okay, and does silence the Wii critics (me included) but a 10 score is not what this game deserves. a 9.5 at most. the 10 score in graphics is a bit perplexing. but that is a debate in it's own right.

does the graphics rating come from a culmination of all other games reviewed before it? considering crysis would steal that show every time im not so sure. recent games on the market? not really. across the consoles only? this would be a good one but in that regard the Wii loses every time, so its just not balanced. so only on the Wii? then it would be worthy of a 9.5, but still not a 10. 10 means that it cannot be surpassed. it is the top of the leaderboards, best of the bunch, the golden egg......of which can never be certain.

i know this is hugely opinionated but this is the first proper 10 rating of any of the consoles. and for it to come from a mario game on the Wii.....a sequel no less.....is a bit brow-creasing.

anyway, enough of me talking. have a happy summer guys and gals!

the second (and final part) of my trilogy.....

yep, my trilogy has now been cut down to a duet. since i got an unexpected christmas present in the form of terminator salvation on blu-ray (another subject i will move onto at the end of this blog).

right on to review time

Terminator Salvation

now, we all know that all the terminator movies are pretty damn awesome (except the 3rd, that was meh) so when i saw that not only was the main actor from avatar (sam worthington) was playing in this move, but christian bale was also starring, i almost wet my pants.

so the acting is of course, top notch stuff. nothing else really to say there. the story however, is abit questionable.

so the main premise is that this movie is set after all the other Terminator movies, after judgment day so the human race is fighting the war against machines. what really baked my noodle was that in all the other movies, it was said that conner would be the leader of the resistance, whereas in this movie he sort of isnt until about 3/4 of the way through the movie.

and there is the unescapeable fact that they CGI'd arnie. sorry for the epic spoiler (if you havent already seen it on youtube) but it has to be said. if i could be so bold, i would say that the director was an utter genius at that point in the movie, letting see arnie in CGI just long enough for us to notice its CGI and getting the nostalgic lookback to the old movies, then by means of explosive weapons, turning into a normal T-800 so we dont sit there thinking "why did they CGI arnie?".

and as a last note, sam's character has a plot twist that you will never see coming (no spoilers here).

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

im just going to come out and say it, this film is so average is makes a new standard of averageness.

the story continues on from the first in only the vaguest sense (as in its got the characters still but thats it) and now they have to save the earth from one of the weakest bad guys in existance.

the fallen, the main baddy, spends all the film sitting atop a throne until the last bit where he comes to earth, beats up a few tanks and planes, then gets raped by Optimus. no spoilers here since if you didnt see that one coming, you have a brain the size of a walnut.

the actors are mediocre and i was actually skipping vast portions of the film on my very first sit-through because so much of it is just excess baggage and irrelavent to the film in any way.

if you want to see it, i would just buy (or rent) it on normal DVD and not waste your money on the blu-ray, since the film is hardly worth it.

Avatar

okay kids, the big one.

this film has been hyped to the end of the galaxy and back with its coma-inducing production costs and one of the greatest film directors of all time at the helm.

so the verdict? let me put it to you this way, i will not call you a true movie goer until you see this movie. thats how good it is.

the story is set on the planet Pandora where the evil corperations (humans, basically) are trying to mine the mineral which conviently is only under the Hometrees (skyscraper tall trees) where the tribal Na'vi live.

im going to have to come out with this, i cant hold it back. the CGI in this film will actually screw with your perception of reality. at points in the film i was actually so convinced the CGI Na'vi were real i has to slap myself a few times, drawing very weird expressions from a few people, but the rest of the audience were doing the same.

i was listening to a few guys as we walked out the cinema and the guys infront of me were saying how great the animatronics were in the film......when it was all CGI.

unfortunatly i could not see the 3-D version or watch it in I-MAX but that only adds to how awesome the CGI is. i watched it without 3-D and Imax and still believed they were real.

also, the acting is about as good as you can get it. sam worthington is awesome and bringing Ms. tough b***h of the Universe, Weaver , into it was just icing on an already perfect cake.

right, now onto the only negative of the whole film. the story pans out with no unexpected twists or shocking moments at all. i predicted almost all the events of the film within about 10 minutes of the film starting. but i wouldn't say it was a bad thing per se, since its done so beautifully, you never find yourself screaming "come on, thats obvious" at any point.

and i like how even though the film is set in the quite far future, which FTL drive and hover cars, the tech that they use on Pandora is quite modern, high tech for us, but still using bullets and rockets rather than lasers and railguns. this adds to the realism and i think was the glue that stopped the film from breaking its own bubble.

and the James Cameron has annouced that he will do sequels (maybe even a prequel) if it is recieved well. and it has been, so expect more awesomeness in the next 4 years or so.

i am definatly getting this on blu-ray when it comes out.

which brings me onto the blu-ray vs DVD argument.

im only going to rant a tiny bit so bear with me. when i first saw a blu-ray movie in the currys store which was using thier best Blu-ray player on thier best HDTV, i couldnt help but think that it looked roughly the same when looking at real human beings in real places but then i saw a CGI movie and was instantly sold. it seems to benefit CGI more than anything else, and with quite a few movies coming out with CGi in them, i couldnt help but feel sorry for the Blu-ray haters. "its just an expensive DVD", "more storage doesnt mean better quality"...i heard all the arguments. we even had a massive argument in our forensic computing session with our lecturer, one of the people behind the blu-ray laser.

and after seeing transformers on normal DVD (rented) and BLu-ray (got for christmas, unexpectedly), i can almost say now that my PS3 is not a dust collector anymore. im fairly certain that any movie that i buy now that has any CGI (Avatar, District 9) i will not hesitate to spend some extra dosh and get the blu-ray version.

right, thats my shouting into the black abyss of the WWW done, lets see if i get any echos back.

happy new year guys!

its been a while...

hell, last time i posted was back in august so i thought that i might want to post something up to keep this page a little fresh.

the topic today is the swathe of films that have come out in the past few months and in two weeks (some of you might know what that particular movie is :) ) and i thought, as someone who enjoys his movies, to have a look back on a few and my upcoming impressions of a few.

so far ive watched Wolverine, Star Trek and have yet to see Terminator Slavation, Transformers 2 and lastly, Avatar.

Wolverine

this movie was an obvious cinema trip. firstly since i hadnt been to the cinema in many months and because the movie looked pretty cool. when i finally came to watch it, i was quite impressed. all the actors were top notch, the action sequences were always fun to watch and the tie ins for a sequel and to the start of the movie trilogy 'Xmen' all fitted and were done properly.

the only thing that annoyed me in the movie, the only thing, was Patrick Stewart's cameo. which wasnt even a cameo since it was blatently not him and just a guy they hired to look like him. it did quite annoy me that out of the massive budget, top notch actors and brilliant CGI displays, they couldnt hire Patrick for all of a minute of screenplay.

overall, a great film to watch.

Star Trek

i'd be lieing alot if i said this film wasnt one on top of my 'to watch' list. i have been a trekkie for as long as i could understand words and TV. i even bought the anniversary game on 6 floppys back in the day. so to hear that the best CGI director (JJ) was doing a TOS remake, i almost wet my pants in anticipation.

what was delievered though was a quite disappointing affair. yes, the Enterprise looked pretty awesome, but you dont get to see much of her throughout the movie. the amount of action in the film was also disappointing. i know Star Trek isnt always action packed but at least put a good amount in a film. the old concept of star trek sexuality is thrown in there, as to be expected.

for me, there wasnt enough space battles. but in retrospect there was a reason for it. the total number of important ships lists as 4 in the whole film (Kelvin, Narada, Enterprise and Spock's ship) so the big battle sequences were never going to be done.

overall, it was a good watch but so many niggling things just annoyed me to the point where i just pulled the DVD out and watched something else after the 2nd time.

ill update this page once ive watched terminator (getting the DVD tomorrow) and transformers 2. will be watching avatar the weekend after its release so this will be a trilogy of reviews.

tune in for more....whenever i can be bothered to write the next one.

New Update 11th August 2009 - Yay or Nay?

Yesterday, a new update for XBL was released.

the features that this new update brings are as follows:

- new avatar system that allows items to be bought or awarded through games.

- new addition to gamercard indicating the amount of years to have been a Live member (with some possible rewards for milestones hinted)

- marketplace has now got a rating feature allowing people to see whats hot and whats not-so-hot.

- overall improvement of speed of the dashboard (of which i massively approve of) and some sounds have been filtered through the headset if one is attached (such as invites etc)

- Games on Demand. whole 360 games can now be downloaded onto you console (hard drive size not withstanding) and played just the same as the old, disc inhabiting game.

while i approve of all of these things there is only one problem that has ticked me off. that is the pricing of the GoD games.

now we all know that Oblivion is a massively sucessful game made by an awesome company. we also know that it has oodles of DLC for it. so why in the name of all thats holy has it got a price tag of £20? thats not including any DLC, you have to get that seperatly.

now, i fully support the notion of supporting good companies by paying for thier games and any DLC they strive to release (though activision has been cast from this list to join EA in the pits of hell) but i can go down to my local GAME which takes all of 10 minutes, and be bakc with the GoTY edtion of Oblivion with includes Knights of the Nine and Shivering isles, for.........wait for it.......£15. plus i have the option of trading it in if i so choose. with DL games you haven ot got that option, you pay for it and you can never get rid of it. thats not so much of a problem when you think that the game is now yours for all eternity as long as you can remember your account details and obtain immortality.

but that is still one great stonking price tag for a game that i can get out of currys now for 99p.

on a brighter note, avatars are now useful! sort of. ish.

i loved the avatar idea, there is so many paths that microsoft could have gone when they released it, making minigames, making a Home-esque mini world to relax and chill while chatting to your mates, or play paintball or footy.

but no, they just bolted it on and left it there, no real use and got mocked for their nintendo baiting.

now they are finally doing something about it. while the step is a very small one, the new buyable items for your avatar wil finally make them properly unique. the gears uniforms and ODST stuff are a step in the right direction (though the shirts are a bit unuseful). the next big step was rewards from ingame play. before hand thsi was totally upto the devs whether or not they allowed gamer pics to unlock or not.

now, you can get something that you can put on your avatar to show you've done something. hopefully the industry will pick this up and use it effectivly (like borderlands or MW2) and make something good out of it.

im still waiting for a chill room though.

while some of the features are put down by lack of sensible pricing, lack of more avatar stuff and a few various other things (like having to red-download all my content due to maybe the command paths being deleted) it is a step in the right direction for expanding the service and being more worth the dosh we fork out for it.

im going to give the new update a Yay.

thanks for reading.

Modern Warefare 2 to cost 55 pounds. jog on Activision!

i mean seriously? what the hell?

this just proves that you're a load of greedy son-of-a-biatches who dont give a damn about your fanbase.

if they dont bring out free dlc for it after release, they will be replacing EA games as the "greedy buggers of 2009-2010".

i hope to god no other company jumps on this bandwagon or blood will spill.

Oh god the humanity!

My god am i bored!

have come back from Uni for a 3 week holiday and all ive got to do is work! its like i never left.

and i have a correction to make on my last post. the january slump is no longer from january to march. it stretches all the way into may.

though there is light at the end of the tunnel. operation flashpoint 2 and prototype come out in may/june so at least the wait wont be for nothing.

the subject for this post is one that i think most xbox 360 users will run into at some point. "adicto-achievementus" otherwise known as the achievement junkie. these are the people that play games, not for enjoyment, but for the sole purpose of getting the highest possible gamerscore, either on particular games or as the total sum of gamerscore.

i have run into a few of these over the years and must say that the experience was not enjoyable. the first true AJ that i ran into was in shadowrun (godawful game) where we were, truth be told, padding some of the more impossible achievements on the game, i was just pissing around the map because i had been invited and saw that it was a padding match and so went around with the sniper and seeing how many i could kill before i was kicked. then the AJ sent me a message saying in essense "do you want some achievements easy?" so i said yes and got a few achievements. he then went on to make another match due to the other one being a bit annoying due to bad connections and asked me to help him get a few achievements then he would do the same. so i helped him out but when i came to my turn, he immediatly quit and started on another game. i tracked his gamercard for a single day and in that day he got over 2000 gamerscore. how? he had basically bought or rented almost every game for the 360 (there werent that many out back then) and got all the easy achievements on them. at that point i assumed he was an achievement junkie and deleted him off my friends list.

there were a few in between, on chromehounds and GRAW2 but none compared to one of my old school friends. it arose in a match on gears when my friend came into a player match with the full gamerscore on gears(including all the map pack ones) . considering he had only had the game for about 4 months, this was impossible so we asked him how he had got them. he had glitched it but he said that he didnt know how to do it so he had contacted someone who could do it and paid him in microsoft points (sent him the code in an email) to perform the glitch which did involve giving this completely random guy/gal his email account and his password. all for the sake of a few achievements. it then became apparent that he was indeed an AJ. so far this year he has bought and sold over 80 games, including the likes of monopoly (who the hell plays that?), BAJA (which he himself said was a load of horse s**t) and HAWX (which was a good game but he played it for a sum total of about a day, got all the achievements he could on it and never played it since).

now, i play for fun. achievements are a way for me to see what sort of progress i am making on a particular game. and the numerical value of the gamerscore doesnt concern me in the slightest. i go for specific achievements that would make me say "hell yes, that as good" like the completionist achievement in mass effect (that takes dedication) or any achievement in dead rising (they are mostly all hard).

the main problem is that due to gamerscore giving you nothing other than a sense of progress, there is no real reason why achievement junkies exist. if gamerscore gave you somthing, like a new profile picture after every 10,000 gs then i would fully understand but it doesnt. its completely useless and i cant see any reason why people would become obsessed with getting achievements. one of the less shining examples of what the xbox 360 does to people.

right thats all for now but i will try my best to get another blog up by the end of the month. ciao!

i should really do some more of these

Hi again!

Its been a while since i posted in here. lets get you up to speed.

At the moment i'm in university studying Forensic Computing which is a great computing subject and fully recommended if anyone suddenly wishes to go to Uni.

I have also come to post one or two slight issues that i have been having about the games industry. the first is the january 'slump'.

because of the mass panic of trying to release every game in development before the christmas period, it sort of leaves a void between january and march which almost no games come out in. i find this displeasing because there are no new games to try out but also fills me with joy since my local game store has a clear out of all the older games. bargin time baby! so for this year i bought burnout paradise (because my friend was nagging me to get it), chromehounds again and star trek legacy which im happily enjoying but as im playing my mind is always saying "you could be playing a really good early 2009 release right about now" and it really drives me up the bend. however the DLC market never seems to slump. the release of burnouts paradise's surf island and all the new cars AND free update which improves the games physics, graphics and gameplay is more than i ever imagined.

my last concern is with the release of halo:ODST. me and my group of friends argued quite extensivly over this. should companies bring out a full priced game that is basically and expansion?

this goes back to the roots of expansions in PC gaming where an update or collection of new units and maps was impractical to release over the internet due to it being too big so companies started releasing expansion packs which were priced considerably less than the original game. over time the prices of expansions weighed heavily on the content but it seemed to level out at about half the price of the original game, if priced at all (like the EVE expansions).

but ODST is taking it to a whole new level. an expansion pack that is priced at £40? just sounds to me like they are starting to milk this one. i would not have cared (because i dont like halo past number 2) if they had released it as a DLC priced at 1200 MS points (like oblivions shivering isles) but £40 is taking too far.

now im not saying to boycott it but if you can justify using £40 (and equivilents) on an expansion then go right ahead. just dont expect a full game when you get it (like left 4 dead, ooohh low blow).

back again!

well, finally got round to another blog.

well, im at University now and enjoying every bit of it. the bugdet is not as bad as i thought and ive managed to get dead space, far cry 2, gears 2 (limited edition of all things) and soon to get fallout 3 with trade-in of dead space, farcry2 and MGS4, hopefully ill have enough left over to get endwar as well but ill keep my sights low.

anyway, after left 4 dead the autumn/winter flow of games ceases so i can build my bank balence back up.