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Resident Evil 5 Demo Impressions January 29, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Demo, Feature.
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Resident Evil 5

In bullet point form because I can’t be arsed typing in paragraphs:

  • Controls initially felt awkward and clumsy.
  • Analogue stick aiming is nowhere near as accurate as the Wii remote in Resident Evil 4.
  • I don’t like the new “real-time” inventory system – being torn to pieces while fumbling about in a menu is never fun.
  • Graphics are very impressive.
  • Chris looks stupidly buff, his arms take up roughly three quarters of the screen.
  • Sheva, your partner, sometimes feels like more of a hindrance rather than help.
  • Babysitting co-op AI is never something I enjoy, I hope she isn’t with you for the whole game.
  • Some of the worst screen-tearing I have ever seen.
  • Very similar to Resi 4, all the “Resident Evil 4 HD” comments seem appropriate.
  • There really is no excuse for not being able to move and shoot at the same time anymore, you can strafe but not while shooting.

Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage Review January 28, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Fallout 3, Review, Xbox 360.
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Operation Anchorage

For me, and many other people, Fallout 3 was up there with the best releases of 2008. An immersive action RPG which I’ve put 40+ hours into, and that’s without finishing most of the side-quests. So I was pleased when Blethesda announced DLC to be released so soon after the game and for a reasonable 800 points.

After downloading  the content and loading up a save, you receive an emergency radio message requesting assistance from what turns out to be Brotherhood of Steel Outcasts. Upon locating the Outcasts you initially fight along side them against Super Mutants before making your way to an underground facility. It turns out the Outcasts want to get their hands on some advanced military equipment held within, but the only means of accessing it is via completing a military simulation. For some reason or other, they choose you for this task  due to your Pip-Boy 300 being able to interface with the training simulation device, or something like that. Then the game goes all Matrix on you and you enter into the training simulation – Operation Anchorage – an important event in the Fallout timeline which sees America liberate Anchorage, Alaska from the invading communist Chinese army.

Once in the simulation, the fundemental gameplay of Fallout 3 changes somewhat. There’s no looting of corpses (they vanish Matrix-style) and there are regular health and ammo stations thoughout the environment. The gameplay becomes much more action based and I’m glad I maxed out my character’s sneak skill since there are many opportunities to use stealth to your advantage. Some new equipment is introduced – my favourite being the Gauss Rifle which is basically the energy weapon equivalent of the sniper rifle.

The DLC consists of four quests offering a combined 100G in total when completed. There is nothing in these quests which you haven’t done before since they basically follow the “go here and destroy/sabotage/kill this objective” formula. While this may seem familiar, the change in setting from barren, radiation-blasted wasteland to a snow-covered battlefield is a welcome one. The missions in the main game where you fought alongside allies were among my favourites so I was pleased to see more of  those elements in these quests.

Throughout Operation Anchorage it feels like the game is building up to a big finale but unfortunately, while it was impressive, it left me feeling a little underwhelmed. However, at 800 points for around 4-5 hours play I’d say it is definitely worth it. Even though it ends with a whimper, the core gameplay is as solid as the main game so I definitely recommend dowloading it.

8/10

Another Test January 27, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Uncategorized.
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Yeah just another one, this time with a photo!

Test January 25, 2009

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Test post using the iPhone app. That is all.

Anticipated Games of 2009 January 23, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Feature.
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2007 was amazing, 2008 was almost as good and 2009 has potential to be just as interesting. Click below and read on for my most anticipated games for the coming year in  no particular order:

(more…)

Representin’ EGM January 22, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Podcast, Stuff.
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Bought this tracksuit top from eBay a while back, I’ve got to wear it more often now. Very disappointed at the closure of EGM and the lay-offs of 30-or-so staff. While I never visited the actual website much, I was a keen listener of their podcast output – particularly 1UP Yours which was by far the best gaming podcast around. Luckily however, many former employees have banded together and created a few tasty new sites:

eat. sleep. game. where you can find the spiritual successor to 1UP FM.

The Geekbox from Ryan Scott and more GFW Radi than LAN Party ever was.

Area 5 by ex-1UP Show & GameVideos staff and their new show, CO-OP, which is the 1UP Show in all but name and classic theme tune.

Low and behold the final 1UP Yours podcast is released just as I post this. Awesome.

Random Gaming Irritations #253 January 22, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Gaming Irritations, Rant.
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Games whose brightness settings require you to adjust the settings on your television rather than it’s own in-game settings.

Currently Playing… January 19, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Currently Playing, Feature.
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STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl (PC)

Reminding me a lot of Fallout 3, I just wish there was also  a fast travel option rather than having to sprint everywhere. As a first-person shooter it is probably one of the worst I’ve played in ages. The weapons feel weak and underpowered. Enemies soak up bullets before they die whereas you can be dropped in a few hits. The difficulty curve is steep as hell, especially in the first few hours of the game where health/weapons and ammo are scarce. Having said that, the whole setting and atmosphere are fantastic.

Company of Heroes (PC)

I’m not usually a fan of RTS games – mainly because I’m usually shite at them – but this particular one is easily accessable. No daunting tutorials or menus cluttering up the screen, I found this very easy go get into since you are controlling small squads rather than numerous armies. I was pretty much done with WWII games after Call of Duty 3 but this has drawn me back in. Since RTS games are a bit of a time-sink I’m limiting myself to one level per session. I also bought the expansion pack as well but I’ll leave that till after I’ve finished the main campaign.

Moon (DS)

A first-person shooter for the DS.. Pretty much everything I had heard about this was from IGN’s Nintendo Voice-Chat podcast. The only thing I can compare it to is Metroid Prime: Hunters and it isn’t as good, basically. The controls are twitchy, awkward and a tad imprecise but the auto-aim is rather generous which compensates for this. The environments are a little bland and repetitive but I’m getting a System Shock 2 vibe from it, which is only a good thing. Its always interensting to see developers trying something like this on the DS.

My Review of 2008’s Releases in Poor Quality Animated GIF Form January 14, 2009

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New Laptopness January 14, 2009

Posted by Matthew in News, PC.
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Finally got round to buying a new laptop from Dell, here are some of the specs:

image0351

Dell XPS M1530
Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium
CORE 2 DUO T9300 2.50GHz,800,6M
15.4″ Widescreen WUXGA (1920×1200) TFT Display
Memory Dual Channel 4.0GB (2×2048 ) 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Hard Drive : 500GB Serial ATA (5400RPM)
Graphics Card 256MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 8600M GT

Gets the job done. I also bought a new headset to replace the cheap-oh Skype one. I use it for both gaming and podcasting and the sound quality is excellent, it even has comfy velvet on the ear pieces:

*SHITTY CAMERA PHONE ALERT*

THIS basically sums it all up.