Showing posts with label xbox 360. Show all posts
Showing posts with label xbox 360. Show all posts

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Open Letter To Chair Entertainment

Dear Chair,

(never thought I'd ever type that particular sequence of words)

I am writing to you today to ask a favour of you. You see, your company developed one of the absolute best video games last generation (no, sorry, not Undertow). The game to which I am referring is of course Shadow Complex. Shadow Complex was easily the best Xbox Live Arcade game at the time of its release, and in this (not so?) humble gamer's opinion, still is (maybe tied with Geometry Wars and Puzzle Quest but I digress). Let me tell you a little story:

I have been gaming since the late 80's. I grew up on all of the same games you all (hopefully) did. Namely (duh), platformers, shmups, adventure games and beat em ups. You all probably have your favourites from these genres, and many of them will likely differ from mine. However, one thing we definitely have in common is a love for the old school archetypal game designs of the eras bygone, one of the most prominent, and criminally (yes, criminally) underused being the so called “Metroidvania” (“Castleroid” to some, but they are from the wrong side of the tracks, so we can do as the government does and simply ignore them) design. Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are the two most well known games of this type, but of course there are many more (just not enough). Clearly, you fine people noticed this travesty and decided to capitalize on the oversights of others far less badass than thou and release to the world a brand new game using this game design philosophy.

So, on August 19th, 2009, you released Shadow Complex and the response from both gamers and critics was overwhelmingly positive. The sales were great (despite that unfortunate little trial version exploit that you wish we would have forgotten (we didn't, but I bought the game, so don't worry)) and Chair Entertainment (now a subsidiary of Epic Games, ching ching!!) was on the map. All well and good, but how do I fit into this story, you ask? Well, I am glad you did. See, to make a longer story long, I, as I stated earlier, have been gaming since the late 80's, and while I still love gaming, I definitely fall into the rose tinted glasses nostalgic old school gamer camp. Games, for the most part at least, just do not satisfy, excite, challenge or engage me the way they used to (with few exceptions) (Bayonetta, anyone?). And then you came along and holy **** I was 12 years old again! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fable Anniversary Review- Saving The World, One Chicken Punt At A Time



You want to pass through me and gorge yourself on my treasures? Get fat first. That is the message delivered to you by one of Fable Anniversary's so called 'Demon Doors,' magical doors created long before the time during which the game takes place, made to conceal the existence of various treasures. Approach the door in Barrow Fields and this is the message with which you are met:

"Oh no, not again. Another bony adventurer seeking to plunder my riches. I'm not interested in your meager frame. Get some meat on you! I want beefy! Blubbery! Plump! Porcine! Stop being a slave to public perception, and treat yourself. Pies, meat, beer, anything; but lots of it! Eat yourself large, and you'll be welcome here!"

Sunday, February 2, 2014

If You Liked The Original, Don't Overlook Fable Anniversary


Update: REVIEW now available

Fable Anniversary, an HD remake of Lionhead's now ten year old Xbox original adventure/rpg hybrid Fable will be available for purchase both at retail and online this Tuesday (at least in North America) for $39.99. The question you may be asking yourself is, is it worth the asking price? Considering the fact that this is a remake of an already existing game, that question seems entirely warranted and valid. Let's consider the facts and perhaps together we will answer this question for you.

The first thing anyone who has played the original will notice upon first seeing Fable Anniversary in action is of course the updated visual fidelity. Lionhead, tasked with bringing Fable to the modern era, utilized the Unreal 3 engine and employed 100 artists with the aim of totally redoing the textures, lighting and special effects. Widescreen support was added, a very important upgrade since the original Fable only supported a 4:3 aspect ratio. This might not sound like much in 2014 but pop in the original Fable and you'll be met with black bars on both sides of the image, which are now thankfully removed as the native aspect ratio has been updated to the industry standard, widescreen enabled 16:9.



In addition to the aforementioned textures and lighting, draw distances were improved, as were the particle effects, shadows and water effects. All of this has resulted in a much prettier version of the original game. It still retains the visual style and flair of the original while updating the visual offerings to a level more suitable for consumption in the modern era.


One of the strengths of the original game was the sound, especially the musical score. At the time, this high point was held back by audio compression as well as being limited to two channel (stereo) audio. Fast forward ten years and the original score that was so beloved by the fans is not only still intact but allowed to shine, freed from the chains of compressed, two channel audio. For the first time, fans of the Fable will be able to play the game they love with no limits placed on the aural experience. Multi channel surround sound and uncompressed audio are now a part of the Fable experience.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

UPDATE: Xbox Live Error 800704DC

Just a quick update regarding the issue outlined in this post. Microsoft support finally came up with a solution, which was (of course) one that I had suggested to them during the initial phone call. 

*sigh*

Said solution being them giving me a one month free Xbox Live gold code which they finally did this past Saturday. Of course, when I went to redeem it I received yet another error ( this transaction cannot be processed at this time, please try again blah blah). It took me a few minutes to figure out the problem; it was a free gold weekend and so it was disallowing the redemption of free gold since it registered me as already having it. Once the weekend promotion was over I was able to redeem the code and download my profile.

Finally!

So for anyone who encounters this issue, just make sure to tell the support staff that you know what the issue is and unplugging your console and plugging it back in is NOT going to address it. 

Oh, btw, those who know me won't be surprised to learn that rather than play Kingdoms of Amalur, as I had been planning on doing, the first thing I played was Ninja Gaiden 3: RE.....I think I'm starting to become a parody of myself at this point. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Xbox Live Error 800704DC: Just Plain Mean

I'm trying to remember where my character is in my current Kingdoms of Amalur playthrough and I have no idea. The Outskirts of Gilderhorn? Greatwood Forest? Winterdawn Cavern? Bandit's Peak? 

I'm drawing a blank. Hell, I don't even know if those are real locations in the game or if I just made them up (I think it's the latter); it has been almost 3 weeks since I last played the game (the post I wrote here detailing my impressions after roughly eight hours of gameplay was posted on April 16th). I don't remember where I am or what I was doing. I do however, remember my character's name. His name is Muscles. 

Yes, I said Muscles. 

magx01 800704dc
Muscles
I know, I know...I am a 31 year old child. This I do not deny, but I digress. 

I did not stop playing Kingdoms of Amalur because I grew tired of the game or began to dislike it. Quite the contrary, actually. I was really getting sucked into it the more I played and my infatuation with it was reaching classic intensity levels (I say classic because the degree/frequency to/at which I used to get infatuated with games has, much to my dismay, decreased as the years have passed by; what used to be common and all encompassing is now rare and fleeting). No, I stopped playing the game because of a little gift from Microsoft known as error code 800704DC. This lovely error occurs everytime I try to recover my xbox live profile. Why am I trying to recover it, you ask? Well, because it was deleted the first time I tried to recover it after being told to do so by Microsoft support. 

Oh, joy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Impressions

Well, a year after the whole 38 Studios/State of Rhode Island fiasco I finally got my hands on (rental) the game at the centre of it all: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Metal Gear Rising Demo Impressions (And Tips)

PlatinumGames released a demo for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance today and while the game is clearly brilliant the demo was a huge misstep that I suspect is going to cost PlatinumGames a lot of sales. Right off the bat I am going to tell you something that the demo itself does not (much to its own detriment): You can dodge back with X+A (360) or X+S (PS3) and if you add in a direction you do a dodge slash.

How can you release a demo with a tutorial that does NOT tell you how to dodge?

Brutal!

How about not telling the player that the game contains very useful combos utilizing directional inputs?

Horrible!

How about the fact that you can heal (B (360) or Circle (PS3) when prompted during Blade Mode)? The demo never mentions that?

WTF!!

It might not have been so bad if perhaps the demo wasn't REALLY hard on Normal difficulty (compared to most games released these days). They throw you into a few REALLY intense fights in the demo and you get very little in the way of practise or instruction beforehand. This is a mistake that is going to cost PG and it's a shame because having spent some time with the demo (yes, I beat it, and yes, I died several times) I can say that the combat in this game is freaking brilliant. It's incredibly different than many other hack n slash games, with a myriad of complexities that are unfortunately not immediately apparent. It manages to be  both very challenging and yet totally fair.....when you figure out how to properly play the damn thing. The demo really does not do a very good job letting you know much.

So, to any prospective players, remember these few things:

-You can heal (B (360) or Circle (PS3) when prompted during Blade Mode).
-Experiment with button input timing.
-It's hard. You will die. You learn by dying, so don't give up so easily; the game is worth it, trust me.
-You can dodge back with X+A (360) or X+S (PS3) and if you add in a direction you do a dodge slash.
-You can cancel the flying kick (Jump then strong attack when in Ninja Run mode) into a stealth attack.
-Towards, towards weak attack is a launcher
-There are also away, towards weak/strong moves as well as a towards, towards weak one (all powerful)
-Use the lock on during every fight. Forget trying to adjust the camera during fights.
-The game WANTS you to use Blade Mode, so USE it. Especially on large enemies.

There's more I am forgetting and there's also more I am sure I do not yet know. This is a game that requires effort, thought, practise and patience, just like all of the best hack n slash games. And, like those, I can guarantee that there is going to be a small community of extremely dedicated and adept players who will be putting out some incredible gameplay/combo videos over the coming years. And, just as true as that is, there will also be a large group of people who played the demo, got their ass kicked and shut the game off, forever writing it off as a bad game. I find that to be unfortunate. However, what I find to be even more unfortunate is that PlatinumGames is going to cause a lot of that themselves with a very underwhelming and insufficiently explanatory demo.

I really hope this incredibly talented development studio can iron out their issues and earn the sales I think they deserve.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dead or Alive 5 Premium Demo: Quick Thoughts

I finally got my hand on the DOA 5 demo and I have to say, I am IMPRESSED. I really wish the Ninja Gaiden team had been able to expand on the formula while maintaining the integrity of the series/game play in the way that the DOA team has. I mean, sure, the counter system was nerfed to a degree, and I know the power moves have left the community divided, but I think that for non tournament players, the game will prove to be a success. It is VERY fun, runs smoothly, looks good, and seems to have once again hit the balance between playability and depth in such a way that I believe no other series has.


I know many will disagree, and that is completely understandable, but I for one have always thought DOA was the best of the 3D fighting games and DOA5 seems like it is going to continue that trend for me.

If you are a fan of DOA and you are worried that this one has been screwed up, especially given the travesty that is Ninja Gaiden 3, rest assured that the DOA you know and love seems to be intact.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition Trailer is GREAT

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shadow Complex Review: Old School, Meet New School

Old School Meets New School



Shadow Complex is a side scrolling shooter with 3D graphics that focuses heavily on map exploration and character progression. This is the game that, as you likely have heard a multitude of times recently, is a downloadable game in the vein of Super Metroid (and a few others). Some go so far as to say this game is a Metroid clone. Either way you look at it, it's definitely very similar. However, for the purposes of this review, I am going to forget Super Metroid et al., and focus merely on this game and its merits. This will be a fairly lengthy review, and I will do my best to describe in detaii what you can expect from this game.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Witcher 2 (Xbox 360): Real In-Game Footage

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Geometry Wars 2 Review

Geometry is Fun Again.....Again


Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is the sequel to the smash hit, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, which itself was an expanded version of a mini game found in the game Project Gotham Racing 2 on the original xbox.



Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, just like its predecessor, is a 2D top down shooter, that is essentially a modernized version of Asteroids, without the warping and with dual stick controls added in. You move the ship with the left analog stick, and fire in the direction you point the right one in. Instead of flying saucers and asteroids, your ship shoots at enemies that take several different geometric shapes, are coloured differently, and behave in different ways. There are simple enemies like the blue diamonds that move towards your position in a non aggressive manner, or the purple pinwheels that spin about randomly, not attacking you but causing your demise if you inadvertently make contact with them. There are green squares that hone in on you, and cowardly move away once you turn to fire in their direction.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rant on PR Speak (Sparked by comments by EA CEO RE: "Online Pass")

NOTE Major expletive filled rant here, so consider yourself forewarned. Also, please note that this was written quite some time ago, as you would have ascertained yourself. Just thought I'd fill you in. It's still relevant, but a couple of the things mentioned are now in the past. D'oh!                                                                                                                          




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

UFC 141 Free on Xbox Live!

UFC 141 Free on Xbox Live!

The xbox UFC app is now available on the 360 dashboard, and as a special treat, Microsoft and the UFC are offering UFC 141 for free (both in SD and HD) so go download that app and select 'buy UFC 141' (it comes up $0.00, don't worry).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Screens: Obsidian's South Park RPG Screenshots. Looks JUST Like the TV Show

Here are 3 screens from the new South Park Role Playing Game being developed by RPG masters Obsidian. Tell me these screenshots don't look exactly like the TV show. Ya, that's right- you can't, because they DO.



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Skyrim=Immersion

I slowly walked out of the traders to the sound of tranquil music and birdsong, intending on slowly making my way to Whiterun when I was immediately accosted by two angry looking dudes who informed me that they were killers for hire who were there to kill me. They then proceeded to attack. After getting over the initial scare of this completely unexpected ambush, I got pissed that they were trying to kill me, and so I fucked them up so bad they'd need to be draped with cloth on the pyre, and then I proceeded to hunt elk on my way to Whiterun. The skies darkened and it started to snow as I reached my destination. Beautiful orchestrated music provided an aural addition to the proceedings.

Skyrim=Immersion.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Temp Saves and Controls

There are two features that should have been included in every single game released in the last, well....ever, but I will forgive you your trespasses, AS LONG AS YOU START INCLUDING THESE GOING FORWARD:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crysis Console (Xbox 360) Screenshots

Here are a few screens from the console (xbox 360) (game is also available on the Playstation 3) version of Crysis:





Friday, September 2, 2011

Achievements: Earned or Entitled?

Often you'll come across the following type of comments in a discussion about a particular game's achievements/trophies (I'm primarily a 360 gamer, so forgive me if/when I fail to mention trophies when I mention achievements):

Gamer A: “WHAT?!? Beat the game on the hardest difficulty without dying (or any other difficult feat)? What kind of stupid achievement is THAT? How do they expect me to earn that? That's fucking STUPID! Most people won't get that! Why would they make an achievement that's so hard to unlock?"

Gamer B: “Well, shouldn't the people who do that get rewarded for it? I mean, if someone develops the skills/takes the time to do it, why shouldn't they be rewarded? They did something awesome! They actually achieved something.”

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

E3 2011 - Microsoft Conference

Written by Syko Shadow

It's that time of year, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is one of the most active and interesting times of the year for gamers. The biggest announcements are usually saved for E3. This year's expo already has the upcoming Nintendo console to reveal, so the other big names have to really bring the heat. First up is Microsoft, who kinda sucked ass last year. Are they gonna redeem themselves in my eyes?

These are my immediate reactions to the announcements and games shown at the conference. Let's begin!