Friday, 31 August 2007

playing people online really sucks

So there i was last night, having a go of Virtua Tennis 3 coz i hadn't played it for a while. And i'm not too bad at it, playing in career mode i've gone up from rank 300 to rank 105 and i'm still winning every set cleanly. Ooh, i've got a great idea, i'll go online and give it a go on singles there, I should be able to hold my own at least and the trueskill won't pit me against anyone too good.

First person playing online, DESTROYS me, absolutely fucking annihilates me, didn't get a single point and struggled to return every shot. I looked so pitiful chasing around after the ball while i barely return every smash. Bish, bash, bosh, 3 sets to nothing.

So this guy was pretty good, i just got unlucky, try again. First couple of volleys i'm not doing too bad so this might be a bit of a better match. Nope, he finds his feet and wastes me, didn't get one goddamn point, not one.

I hate online play. The trueskill system is just a load of bollocks. I just get wasted on every game i ever play online. I don't think i've ever won one game online since Unreal Tournament 2003. Surely i can't be that bad at games, i've completed dozens of games, i've been playing games since the Philips Videopac 2000 back in 1983.

But i go online and i end up playing against people who have been playing this game solidly since it came out and i have no chance. As i said before, the trueskill system is clearly old cack. It doesn't represent the real skill of someone coz it only goes on how many online games you've played. I could fully complete the game on single player first, then when i gonna be good at the game i can go online and completely trounce the other people who play it every now and then.

It should check how long you have been playing the game online and off and put you against someone of similar standing, that would make it a lot more fair.

No i'm not bitter, i'm just sick to death of playing people who are SOOOO much better than me, there must be SOMEONE out there who i can give a good competition to, anyone?

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

This week i have mostly playing...

Spider-Man 3 on the 360.

I think i'm the only person in the world who likes it but i do, i really do. Been thoroughly enjoying it all weekend. So much fun swinging through new york and the draw distance is pretty amazing. Fine, it's a bit of a button basher and new york looks the same virtually everywhere you go, but i still love it. It's not quite as interesting as Spidey 2 on the ps2 was, but that looks pretty dated these days.

But then, as you probably guessed, i'm a massive spidey fan. Even enjoyed the third film more than most people.

Started reading Civil War, it's SOOOOOOO good. If you're a comic book fan i urge you to check it out.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Rapture - It was a nice a place to live

Completed Bioshock last night, most enjoyable but DAMN it's hard near the end. End boss is a piece of piss though. In case you don't know, there's 2 endings and i got the bad one. God knows why though, I thought i did everything right but then i guess not.

Still only got 58% of the achievements, bollocks if i can be arsed to play through all that again just to get the rest of them. Maybe later on down the line...

Uploaded a video on Skate as well as that's what you're supposed to do, couldn't bloody find it anywhere. I know they sit at but couldn't find mine. It was a hell of a lot better than half the videos there too. Stupid shitty ea website.

Woo, going to the races today, got a private box and as much food and drink as i can shake a stick at. Makes up for not going to Reading Festival this year. Really missed it yesterday but it got to half 11 and i was very happy to be in bed rather than 4 layers of clothing in a paper thin sleeping bag and fucking kids screaming their head off all night shouting 'Bollocks' coz oops, it's a rude word and it sounds funny if you shout it. Christ, i'm getting old.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Adding Insult to Injury

Lanky Sanchez from my band had the red rings of death a couple of weeks ago, microsoft have told him another 3 weeks before he gets his 360 back and to add insult to injury he received his copy of Bioshock this morning along with this model of a Big Daddy, specifically a Bouncer. Pretty cool i must admit.

Further impressions of Skate

It fucking rules. Manuals are so simple they're brilliant. Want this game, now!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

First Impressions of Skate Demo

Well, it's, um, different. It's nothing like tony hawks and it feels like learning to walk again. You instinctively want to press A to jump, then Y to grind, only it's not like that any more.

The flickit controls are very intuitive and do pretty much what you tell it to do. I like the grinding but jeebus christ, it's hard. No more popping onto the grind if you're in it's vicinity, you have to get this bang on to land on the grind. But it does feel a lot more satisfactory when you land it.

I think the key is to get used to the controls. Once you are, i think it's gonna feel very natural.

Remember back to when you played the first tony hawks game, it was good but incredibly hard. But the first time you actually landed a tricky move felt damn good. It's exactly the same with Skate.

Whether you were good at tony hawks or not, it doesn't matter any more, everything starts again with Skate

I would certainly recommend getting the demo, there's enough there to see the game properly and it gets pretty addictive pretty quickly.

The movie after the demo is great, i love the trick where the character jumps over the rail but the board goes under it.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Defender of the PS3 - Yep, there's one out there!

Now this is piss funny, thanks to drunkenmonkey for pointing this out. This is some tossers review of Bioshock. Did i mention that he's a tosser and his review is tossy? I'd suggest signing up to his site just to give him abuse (

Here's his pisspot review, look for the sly dig at the 360 vs PS3, it's subtle but you might spot it if you're good:

After many months of anticipation I finally got my copy of Bioshock and played through it over the past few days. There are many things to like about Bioshock such as the graphics (not animation), parts of the story and the water effects. That’s about where the good stuff ends.

First let me say how excited I was for the game after playing the demo on the 360. While the animation seemed stiff and you could tell the 360 was being pushed too hard it still looked like it had a lot of potential. So imagine my disappointment when I got the final version only to find none of the animation hitches, shooting glitches and AI was cleaned up. I also wonder how much better the graphics would’ve been had they not been compressed to fit on a DVD. Now I do not fault the developers for this, they only had so much system power to work with so maybe this will all be addressed with the PS3 version when it comes out.

To conclude, let this game cook in the oven just a little bit longer and wait for the superior PS3 version. Cleaned up textures, animations, AI, extra weapons, Home space, standard HDD and Blu-ray will make this flawed game into a perfect gem.

The scum of this world

On a complete tangent to my usual rant i want to present a different rant.

There's one kind of person worse than scummy chavs or drunks on the street. Worse than car salesmen and cold callers. Even worse than that annoying shouting tosser on the Safestyle UK advert (I say, ya baaay one, ya get one free).

It's people who are still using IE6.

I hate IE6, actually hate isn't strong enough, i absolutely despise IE6 with every bone in my body. It is a shit browser. It doesn't work properly, there's no support for transparent png's, it doesn't render CSS properly. Even images are a different sodding colour in IE6 to what they are in Firefox. IE6 is the worst scummy stinky piece of shit to ever grace this world since Netscape and it's the bane of my fucking life. I'm a web developer by trade and i have spent the entire damn day getting a site i'm building to look the same in IE6 as it does in Firefox. What a waste of a day.

If you are using IE6 to read this then shame on you. It's because of people like you that i have to waste a days work getting my sites to work on this joke of a browser for every site i build. I hate you and I hope your computer explodes, and i sincerely mean that.

Do me (and the entire world) a favour and switch to Firefox, please, i beg you, you'll love it, every single person who ever made the switch has not regretted it for one second.

It'll take about 10 minutes and if you enjoy browsing the internet then it's the best 10 minutes you could ever spend.

The browser usage for July say that 37% still use IE6 and 34% use Firefox. But IE is dropping and Firefox is rising quickly.

Let's get this below 10% before the end of the year. My life and my job will be so much more enjoyable, as will the thousands of other developers and designers out there and your browsing experience will be infinitely better, i can 100% guarantee.

Rant over, please go about your usual business

Monday, 20 August 2007

360 drops in price, a whole £30!

Woo, the 360 has dropped in price; £30. Break out the fucking fireworks.

The prices are now:
Elite: £299.99
Premium: £249.99
Core: £179.99

But here's the real kicker, if you want to get the 120gb drive for the premium, which virtually everyone reading this would want, it'll cost you £130!


So there's 50 squid difference between the premium and elite, but to finally get a decent HD it'll cost £130? May i be the first to say; 'Fucking rip-off!'. What a sodding gyp.

Everyone will admit that 20gb is bollocks these days, you can get a normal 20gb HDD for about a tenner and 120gb HDD costs (just checking on Misco...) a whopping £31 including VAT. Even a 2.5" HDD only costs £47 (those go into laptops in case you didn't know). So how the hell can Microsoft justify charging £130 for the same thing?

Answer: Because they can!

The key word here is propriatory. Say it with me: Pro-pri-a-tory. It's a simple but sinister word that makes you spend more than you should be doing; every single time.

You just make the peripherals proprietary and then charge whatever the hell you want for them! They house the HDD in that stupid flat thingy that sits on top of the console so you can't use your own, bingo, they charge you whatever the fuck they like.

Pisses me right off, it really does. What's wrong with making a connection for an external hard drive, so you can plug in whatever hard drive you like? Because then they wouldn't be able to charge you £130 for something that isn't worth above £50.

Failing that, give me the ability to backup my information on my 360 to my PC: Movies, Demos, Save games, etc. Really, how difficult would that actually be, they're networked and Media Center works perfectly so it's clear they can communicate. Christ the operating system is made by the same damn company.

At least the Wii went the right way allowing you backup saves onto an SD Card.

The worst thing is, everyone will pay it coz they simply have no choice..

This is another aspect where the PC wins hands down, no-one owns it so there's always masses of competition on hardware, consequently it keeps the prices down.

Move over Tony Hawk - EA's got a brand new bag

The Skate demo comes out tomorrow.

For those who don't know much about it, check this little bad boy out:

It's not gameplay but i'm sure you can see what it's going to be like anyway.

Difficulty Settings

Has anyone ever actually played a games on Hard? (apart from Guitar Hero, which is kind of the point) I can honestly say i have never played or, more importantly, completed a game on hard.

In Max Payne 2 you complete it then you unlock the option to play the game on New York Minute which is the hardest setting. Err, no thanks. Why the hell would i want to play a game where i'm completely rubbish. I want to look good when i play. I want the sense of accomplishment you get when you kill bosses. I don't want to get wasted by them 5 seconds into the fight. There's nothing worse than not being able to get any further and turning the game off coz you're sick of it.

God Of War 2 - The greatest game on the PS2 bar none. Complete that you can play in God mode, but who wants to play it anything but easy coz it simply more fun that way. You do tough levels so you can see what's going to happen next, you want the cool cut scene at the end of the battle. Fuck Medium and fuck Hard right in it's stupid ass, gimme easy every time (apart from Bioshock where Easy is really really easy and no challenge at all).

The way around this is to have one difficulty like they do with Mario. Or F.E.A.R. was great as it adjusted the difficulty as you went along. Keep dying? It just makes it a bit easier. Fantastic idea.

Rapture - A Nice Place to Live

BTW, Bioshock is a hell of a good game. Most enjoyable. Not finished it but i don't think i'm far away.

Little tip: Play it on Medium, Easy is just TOO easy and you won't die at all but Medium presents just enough of a challenge for you to have to think what to do, arrange your plasmids to best tackle the situation. And those big daddies are big HARD mofos. Especially the ones that charges you, Rosies i think they're called. But you just gotta get that sweet, sweet adam from the little sisters so you've got no choice other than to pound them with everything you have.

Play it, you'll love it.

Addicted to Gaming vs Addicted to Telly

I was worrying about this the other day, since i got my 360 i've been on it non-stop. And i mean non-stop. I can't get off it, haven't watched any films. When the missus is working evenings i hardly even have my tea coz i want to get playing.

So let's tot this up shall we, I'll say i play between 3 and 4 hours a night, 6ish hours on saturdays and sundays

So that would be:

(3.5*5)+(6*2) = 29.5 hours a week sat in front of a console pushing away at buttons and joysticks.

But before you judge me, think how many hours you spend sat watching telly. If you have offspring (like myself) you can't go out anywhere so it's either one of two things: telly or games. Games have to win every time. You can either watch someone else's plot and storyline from the third-person view or you can get involved in the plotline. The only way to progress that plotline is your own skill and hand-eye coordination. Do you honestly get the same adrenaline rush watching Jackie Chan take down some henchman as you would taking down a really tough end of level boss.

Of course telly is good, there's loads of shows i watch, mostly american. Stuff like Lost, 24, Prison Break, Heroes, The Office, etc. But the important thing is, they have a place. I watch the show, i turn off the telly. I don't carry on watching just because there's nothing else to do. I see those self improvement shows (gardening, diy, children, etc) as nothing more than chewing gum for the eyes. I can actually feel my IQ dropping when i watch these shows. I play a game and immerse myself in the storyline, enjoy the plot progression and get annoyed when i can't get past a certain place. But it's all at my pace and with open end games like GTA, the story progresses exactly how i want it to.

If you're really not a gamer (although why you'd be reading this if you're not, i have no idea) then ask your partner or friend who is one and get them to introduce you to one of their favourite games. They will happily show you how to play it and i guarantee a really good game can match any movie in terms of immersion and entertainment. Plus it lasts a hell of a lot longer than 2 hours.

You may be surprised, we've come a long way from Pac-Man and Centipede.

Friday, 17 August 2007

The greatest 360 game ever made

Bioshock looks like it's going to be game of the year hands down. It's been receiving 10's across the board. IGN gave it 9.7, higher than Gears of War which was the previous top game.

And it's out on the torrents already.

Can't work out if it's region free or not but a lot of sites say it is. Think i'll still get the PAL version, nothing worse than getting 7gb worth of files, waiting another hour for it to write to disk then finding out it's not region free.

Jack Thompson - Big fat dangly cock

In case some of you don't know who Jack Thompson is, he's like the Mary Whitehouse in America for computer games. He's a cock, basically. A real misinformed, heavily opinionated, annoying, wasp-in-your-lager, first-class bellend. But this guy has a little bit of power as he's a lawyer.

He does dickhead things like call first person shooters 'Murder Simulators' and describes video games in general as 'Mental Masturbation' (Imagine if you could masturbate mentally, that would be so cool, like when you're passing some fit lass on the way to work, you could thrap one off and you wouldn't even have to hide like i have to).

His main target has been the GTA series as he's defended people who's kids have been attacked by other kids 'obsessed' with GTA. Most of his cases have been thrown out of court as he's rubbish at what he does and he keeps doing things like violating gag orders and other legal no-no's like that.

He also led a campaign against the game 'Bully'. According to Thompson, the game "shows you how to — by bullying — take over your school. You punch people; you hit them with sling shots; you dunk their heads in dirty toilets. There's white-on-black crime in the game. You bludgeon teachers and classmates with bats. It's absolutely nuts." After a judge saw the game in action he saw no reason to restrict sales and dismissed the complaint the next day.

Thompson then bitched about the judge who then filed a complaint against him citing his behavior as "inappropriate by a member of the bar, unprofessional and contemptible".

Now you're seeing how much of a knob Jack Thompson actually is. He's that wasp that stays precisely 1 foot away from your head in the middle of town no matter how much of the flappy dance you do. He's the kid in class who you know will always grass you up when you've been messing about coz the teachers in the bog.

He's even moaned about the nudity in The Sims 2, you know the bit where they have a shower and it blurs it out, yeah that bit.

He's done loads of other annoying shit too, i'd suggest looking at wikipedia for him, it makes an amusing read and it passes 10 minutes at work when you're a bit bored but want to look busy in front of the boss.

If anyone in America ever sees him, you want to give him a slap for being an annoying little bitch but give it legs quick-sharpish before he can take your name.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Guitar Hero III - what's the point?

Guitar Hero rocked out like the baddest mofo on the planet. Everyone can remember the sheer unadulterated joy of that first time we played 'I Love Rock and Roll' on easy after we'd carefully put our zappy stickers on.

Guitar Hero II was also cool, primarily coz it had Freebird which is pure bliss to play.

Now, this winter (or whenever they decide to release it in Britain, probably summer 08 or something stupid like that!) we're getting Rock Band which is going to be the bestest coolest game ever made. More so as I've been a drummer for 14 years so i'm finally gonna get a game that I SHOULD be good at from the get go.

So what's the point of Guitar Hero III?

Let's face it, guitar hero was always a gateway to the full band experience. It's fun, don't get me wrong. But it just gave me the itch for a Drum Hero or something MORE than just guitar.

Why don't they just bring out expansion packs for GH2 like they're planning with Rock Band? Surely it would make more sense. What else can they bring to the table other than more songs?

Loved the first 2, not that bothered about the third one. Besides, i never had the patience to get past medium so once i'd played through all the songs on that skill level i got bored and frustrated. And it makes your eyes wobbly if you play it too much. Try looking at anything else after you've been playing GH for half an hour and you'll know what i mean.

On another note, i so can't wait for Rock Band, especially if what's i've read is true and YOU CAN PLAY IT ONLINE. How mental would that be. I can get together with my band and play, all from the comfort of my living room. And maybe even impress the online community with my natural ability for rhythm and groove. Either that or get suitably embarrassed as I totally fuck it up on easy, which is more likely...

Stalker - Shadow of Chernobyl

I really really wanted to like this game and i gave it so many goes (on pc) but it's too feckin' difficult.

People are raving about AI getting better and adapting to your movements so they can flank you with intelligent ducking and hiding and all that gubbins. Stalker has this, and all it does it make it too bloody hard. What's wrong with baddies walking back and forth along a set route like they did in Splinter Cell, at least you had some advantage then. In Stalker you shoot one guy and the rest run right around the outside then waste you from behind, sneaky bastards!

Jesus, this game is difficult, how many games have you played where you died at the first fucking mission? Probably not many. Of course, this doesn't make you feel very good about playing the rest of the game if you're going to get wasted 15 minutes into the game, then realise there's no checkpoint style auto-saving and you have to start the game again, which i did, then i finally did the mission, only to get killed BY THE LAST FUCKING GUY when i was on my way back to collect my reward, luckily i quick-saved it periodically throughout the mission (which is one way the pc pisses all over consoles, save-points my arse!).

Then after that just got lost and bored and ended up switching it off and having a wank instead, it was more entertaining (isn't it always though?)

And the game needs such a high spec machine to run smoothly but i'll save that rant for another day.

To summarise, Stalker SEEMS like a good game but i'll be buggered if i could actually get into it.

Knights of the Force

Speaking of Star Wars stuff i re-installed Jedi Academy last night. It's all because of the fever pitch that is Knights of the Force. What's that you ask?

It's only a total mod for Jedi Academy that encompasses the entire six films. I don't normally play mods as i can never be arsed with the poor quality but this looks mental. It's taken the people who did it about 2 years. The whole mod is 2gb and it's not actually out yet but it may keep me ticking over until force unleashed comes out.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Star Wars - Force Unleashed

Hands up who has played jedi academy. I did, loved it, completed it. Might actually play it again. It was one of the only games (apart from jedi knight 2) where you really felt like a jedi swinging a light sabre around, especially when fighting.

But stop press, OMFG, how amazingly fantastic does this game look:

Let's face it, it's always so much more fun to be bad. I mean who would you rather be? little old knackered Yoda or Emporer Palpatine; commander and supreme ruler of the galaxy? Even in KOTOR i always did everything i could to be bad as soon as poss.

And in Force Unleashed, you get to be Vader's apprentice in the timeline between eps 3 & 4. How effing cool is that!?

You get to waste hundreds of stormtroopers and jedi scum on the run. All the time being as evil as you like.

My whole life has been leading up to this game, apparently it's not out until April next year but i can hold my breath until then

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Wii - it's great and shit at the same time

I got a Wii on the date it came out, first console i've ever bought from day 1 and initially i was like everyone, it was so cool with the pointer and motion sensor and whatnot but 8 months on and what's it like now?

Well, a bit rubbish actually. The gfx are already incredibly dated compared to the pc and xbox, the controllers aren't precise enough to play the games you REALLY want to play (let's face it, we all just want to swing a light saber around) and worst of all, the games have been piss poor at best.

They haven't had their defining game yet and 8 months in, that's a load of bollocks. Zelda was good, but it's just an updated gamecube game. Mario Strikers Charged was speedball 2 but not as good. Rayman? Good in short bursts but nothing special.

Having a quick look at the top few games on ign:

Resident Evil 4: great but a 3 year old game
Super Paper Mario: Update of N64 game, yawn...
Mario Strikers Charged: see above
Madden NFL: Who gives a shit about American Football other than yanks
Scarface: Loved this game until i died near the end of the first main mission, then IT PUT ME ALL THE WAY BACK AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MISSION! I can't tell you how much this pisses me off, so i turned it off in disgust and wiped the disk on some sandpaper to be sure i wouldn't make the mistake of playing it again.

Even the upcoming games don't fill me full of excitement.

Mario Galaxy: Great, just what the world needs, ANOTHER Mario game that plays exactly the same as Mario 64 and is fun at the beginning but just gets too fucking hard and frustrating later on, which is when most people turn it off and don't play it again.

Super Smash Brawl: The 3rd version of the fighting games that plays exactly the same as the first one did on the N64

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: You just know that is going to suck the sweat off a dead man's balls

And that's it. There's nothing else coming out, certainly nothing ground-breaking and original. For crying out loud nintendo, you've got everyone and their dog owning your console, isn't it a good idea to make some decent games now?

And while i remember, it's really hard to smoke a fag while you're holding the controllers, with a normal controller it's a piece of piss, you can even drive with one hand while you smoke and drink with the other if you're really good (Like me, hah!)

The state of PC Games at the moment

Is it me or has absolutely fuck all come out on the PC for months?

I can't remember the last decent game i played on the PC. I was going to update my machine over these next few months but what's the sodding point? I know there's always a dry spot in the summer for games, sod all has come out for the 360 in weeks, certainly nothing worth getting anyway. Now we've got a good few games coming out within the next couple of months, Bioshock, Skate and Assassin's Creed to name 3 that i'm looking forward to but where's the cool PC exclusive games these days?

Alan Wake and Crysis, that's it!

Without nosying around on ign and gamespot i can't think of a single other decent game coming out on the PC. PC gamers are definitely getting fucked in the ass due to the popularity of the 3 consoles. I subscribe to PC Zone but the last couple of issues have been more of a pamphlet than a magazine due to the serious lack of content. Everything's just a preview, no decent reviews. Last months issue had some war game on the front cover (i forget what it was, they're all the frigging same these days) with the words "Is this the best war game ever?" - Inside it just said "No, it's shite"

Halo 3 - Whoop de fucking doo

Am i the only person in the world who doesn't actually give 2 shits about Halo 3, it seems nothing more than an unreal tournament clone, and an inferior one at that.

Unreal Tournament 3 is going to kick 7 shades of shit out of Halo 3. Double-jumps, quad-jumps, alternative fire, killing spree, low gravity, about a dozen different game modes and more vehicles you can shake a stick at.

Warthog jumps? Woo!, gimme me UT3 every single time

Although saying that, i'll probably still download Halo 3, all it costs me is the price of a blank disk and some time

Assassin's Creed

How cool does this game look?

Please let it be good, please let it be good, please let it be good...

BTW, the music is Lonely Souls by Unkle with vocals by Ian Brown, ex lead of Stone Roses, if you like that song you should check out Rabbit in your Headlights video, i'm sure you'll find it on Youtube, every other music video is on there.

Bioshock Demo - dogs bollocks

Downloaded the demo of Bioshock last night. It's sodding dark but Liked the little effects like the back of the plane sinking slowly into the sea.

Although it's bloody hard to zap those flying gunner things with an analogue stick. Can't decide if it would be better on the 360 or PC. With the 360 the games will just work, the gfx are perfect and you get those oh so important achievements. But with the PC you've got the holy grail of controllers: The Mouse. You can't get anything better than a mouse for precision aiming on fps.

Also got stranglehold demo the other day. It's pretty good but you must have noticed it's very Max Payne-y. Lots a slo-mo stuff. Seems fairly easy too but maybe that's just the demo. I'm not that impressed with the stand-offs, it's a great idea, it's just too easy to do.

Bioshock comes out end of next week in the EU so i think it's certainly a trip to the newsgroups for that one.

Skate is coming out soon, if you haven't already seen it, have a look at and specifically at the flickit controls. It's already giving me a semi and i swear, the first time i saw it, i did a little wee i was that excited. Could never play tony hawks on the joypad, always played it on the keyboard so i need something i can start at the beginning again. This game looks so frigging mental.

Mate in my band had the fatal 3 lights of death last night. Hope i don't get any of that shit as i've already had the drive patched so my warranty died 2 days after buying the thing.

p.s. Trauma Centre is worth getting as well if you have a Wii, it's lots of fun and even teaches you crap you never wanted to know, like what the hell a Polyp is