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GT5, Wii60 and Unemployment

2nd November 2010, 9:07am

So, a lot has changed since my last blog entry. Probably because it's been almost 5 months to the date. The truth is, I've been the busiest I've ever been in my life. I got married.

Unfortunately, a few other key things in my life went downhill though. I put my university course on intermission due to the wedding and work, but my good friends at GAME couldn't keep me in the company anymore due to the terrible, TERRIBLE choices made by people who no longer work for its head office in Australia. The company is undergoing a major downsizing with the removal of stores everywhere. They have completely exited from Tasmania, and shrunk by about 30% here in Victoria.

In sadder news, my grandparents were in a nasty car accident towards the end of June. So nasty that they weren't able to make it to the wedding which was at the end of September.They are both doing okay though, and were crashed in to by a doctor, so everything is well and truly paid for. My cats on the other hand decided two nights after we got back from the honeymoon that they would break out and get in a fight with a feral cat, they had surgery and put us out of pocket over $1000. Good times? Good experiences.

The honeymoon was riddled with ups and downs, with every day presenting a new challenge. My wife was badly food poisoned from a fish burger on a small tropical island in Vanuatu, and I cracked a rib on the 'Extreme Green Challenge' treetop ropes course at Currumbin Sanctuary on the Gold Coast. All in all though, we had a fantastic time.

On to more Sliced-related issues now, and I must say I'm deeply dissatisfied with the two next-gen console companies. Microsoft and Sony, what are you doing? For starters, I'm not sure why Sony is being so secretive about GT5 again. It makes me think there is no way it will launch in 2010, and I have been looking for something to change my pre-order to as I don't like pre-ordering games without release dates. Please tell us Sony, we deserve to know after your E3 pledge.

In other news, the Xbox Wii60 received its Kinect Spring Update last night, and wow, it's err, interesting. Upon successfully installing the update, you are presented with a tutorial on how to use your Xbox Wii60, because, you know, someone with 107,000 gamerscore needs help in that department. Thankfully you can exit out of it at any point, but wow did I feel like I was being treated like a first time user and/or idiot for a moment there. The new dashboard is incredibly white and childish. Some would call it user friendly, but the old dash was identical in usage, just, you know, not lame. I understand they want to align the console with Kinect as they are looking to sap some of the Wii's market, but has the public not become aware of the expenses of casual gaming and quality of shovelware? Kinect at $200 with its shovelware titles at $80 is not going to succeed. And I'll be the first to say HA at the poor salespeople that have to explain that you need an Xbox Wii60 to use Kinect, and you can't just buy Kinect on its own.

I haven't much looked in to Playstation Move, but it seems to be getting about the same amount of attention as the EyeToy, and we all know how huge that piece of technology was. I guess my point is that perhaps the elderly 'casual' market is not as interested in these technologies as the Wii statistics show, and without correct integration into the normal 'hardcore' market, it is destined to fail. Updating the Xbox Wii60's dashboard to look and feel like a Wii is not the right direction for keeping 'hardcore' gamers around, and I hope too many aren't deterred by its babyish intuitive style.

Lastly, since becoming unemployed I thought I would have a lot more time for gaming. I guess the wedding and honeymoon did take up a lot of time and maybe I haven't had the chance to properly sink in to a gaming feast yet, but I do feel like I had plenty of time to play games while working for GAME, and anyone who has a full time job that says they don't have time for video games is either a liar or they haven't tried. That said, I don't plan on staying unemployed much longer, and have a couple of job interviews lined up already. Wish me well.

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Alpha Protocol first impressions

30th May 2010, 5:05pm

Yo, yo, yo, S L I to the C to the E to the D, representing the GAMING, what up beeeyatch?!

Yes, I watch Breaking Bad. It's a killer show, and it should be in Australia already dammit. Jesus. Shit. It's the bomb, yo!

In other news, Alpha Protocol was sitting on my desk all week, untouched.. I feel so bad that I did not pay it the attention it deserves. It really is something else. It's the direction I wish the Splinter Cell series went in. Seriously, with all the big games that have come out in the past couple of weeks, how is the game by UBISOFT MONTREAL THE WORST GAME OUT OF THE LOT? SERIOUSLY! I WANT ANSWERS!

Ubisoft release this piece of crap they call Prince of Persia, completely rushed in time for the movie, and it's bugged to hell. It has a major glitch that resets all your experience and skill progression back to ZERO every time you turn your Xbox off. It's pathetic how it could have passed the testing stages with such an ABSOLUTE ERROR in the coding. Let's hope there's a patch in the next couple of weeks, or it could hinder my expectations of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (which could be a good thing, as my expectations are extremely high..)

So anyway, I threw in Alpha Protocol this morning and I was not disappointed. The game is laid out extremely well, every mission makes you feel like you're a secret agent, you can act differently in every conversation you have, and this leads to different results and opinions formed towards you. It's like Mass Effect meets Splinter Cell, without the over-the-top ZOMG LETS BOMB WASHINGTON theme. I am enthralled by this game and hope that it takes a while to finish. There is good incentive to play through it more than once as well, as there are different classes with different perks, and you can become loyal and betray different people throughout the game. The first terrorist bastard I came across who blew up a plane full of civilians.. Let's just say I didn't let him smoke another cigar. Whereas the next time I play it, I may negotiate his release on the condition that he helps me cook meth, yo.. I mean... Dammit! Jesus!

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Alan Wake first impressions

18th May 2010, 7:35am

So Alan Wake arrived in my letterbox yesterday afternoon and made its way in to my Xbox 360 about five seconds after I got home from work. I knew I wouldn't have much time for it as I've had a cold lately and been hitting the hay at around 10pm. Furthermore, I had to take my brother to and from Karate which involved picking him up from my parents house, so time was scarce.. so very scarce.

Alan Wake is the first game that I would suggest having a glass of red to. It's a horror story that plays out like a TV show, with episodes, and "previously on Alan Wake" teasers, but poor Alan feels like he's lost inside his book which he hasn't written yet. Still keeping up? As you play through the game, you collect manuscript pages of events that are currently happening. I am expecting a big twist, but it is hard to tell what to expect. Alan Wake, by all means, is a game that you can not have expectations for.

In the first hour I woke up and passed out from so many different things that I no longer am aware of what is and isn't real. I do know that there are a lot of angry people coming after me with axes and other metal objects that die after several bullets and a spray of torchlight. That's right, in Alan Wake, light is your friend. Don't question the science - it's in the authors writing, or something. In fact, if you stand under a lamp post your health regenerates back to full. Nifty, huh? Good, because if you take three hits with an axe you're dead.

Alan Wake is hard but not frustratingly hard. There are a lot of ways to tackle your foes, and the game even suggests in the load screens that if you're outnumbered just run to the next safe haven (lamp post). I am disappointed that it is not as open as I was hoping for, but from everything I had read about Alan Wake, it would have just been impossible to allow you to go off in any direction, particularly in the haunted national park that you spend most of the game in.

I'll be very interested to dive back in to this after work today, I just hope I can stay A.Wake.

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Just Cause 2 Impressions

21st March 2010, 8:00am

It really has been a crazy start to the year for games. I only just finished Mass Effect 2, and already my pile to play through is possibly the largest it's ever been. Yakuza 3, AVP, Avatar (still!), Bioshock 2, GOD OF WAR 3!!!! The list just goes on. This didn't deter me from taking up the opportunity to play Just Cause 2 a couple of weeks before everyone else. I spent hours getting completely frustrated in the first game due to a fairly new idea of grappling around a free-roam world. It was new technology back then, and that caused quite a few hassles, not to mention the graphics were sub-par at best.

Just Cause 2 is different. The developers have put in the hard yards to ensure this addition to the franchise is one of the best free-roam games of 2010 (I actually can't think of any others off the top of my head right now). The sheer size of the country you get to explore is incredible. Get lost in its snowy peaks, or burn out in its expansive desert wastelands, but whatever you do, don't ignore the tropical paradise all around you. The game looks sensational, and the sky in Just Cause 2 is what sets the game apart graphically from other free-roam titles. I won't delve in to it too much, but just make sure you look up when you're playing Just Cause 2 next month.

A minor disappointment is the lack of building exploration - it would have been nice to enter a few buildings here and there, but it was not to be. Everything is outdoors in one respect or another, though you can find shelter. The best 'building' we found is actually in the sky. Keep a look out for a blimp which travels around the country, you may get lucky in more than one way if you find your way up there.

 

Check out our full review on Tuesday, the 23rd, which will be uploaded at around dinner time due to an embargo.

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FUEL first impressions

23rd June 2009, 9:33pm

I realise it's been a while since I've done a blog entry, and figured this would be the best way to bring my blog back to life.

FUEL is the word. Codemasters' latest 4 letter racing game hit the shelves today in Australia, and I quickly picked up my copy. I've put in about 3-4 hours so far and unlocked about a quarter of the map. It's epic. The map that is. I've never seen anything like it. Really, the closest thing is Test Drive: Unlimited, but that's an accurate re-creation of Oahu, Hawaii whereas this is a parallel universe planet Earth struck by the effects of global warming. Rain, fog, mist, tornados, floods, dust storms, FUEL has everything you don't want to see in a racing game, but somehow it's fun and addictive.

You start off the game with a couple of vehicles, and soon learn that in this wretched landscape FUEL is currency. As you win fuel in races & challenges and find fuel randomly around the map, you can purchase more cars. As you purchase the cars that allow you to win the races, you unlock more areas of the map. it's a simple format that as far as I can see doesn't get boring.

The graphics aren't exactly amazing, but considering the sheer size of the game and that you can go from one side of the map to the other without any loading, FUEL really is something spectacular. An annoying part is the loading time when it is setting up for a race or a challenge though. You have to wait for 15-25 seconds while the game loads.

All up, first impressions indicate FUEL is a game that has achieved everything it set out to do. It holds that Guinness World Record we reported a few weeks ago, and it puts gamers in an open-world environment where the sky is the limit. You can create your own races, or just screw around in free-roam with a friend.. the environments are practically endless.

I can't wait to see what sort of end-game cars are in FUEL, I hope they are much faster than the starting cars that only reach around 150KPH. Be sure to check up at Sliced for a review later on this week.

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My Top Five of 2008!

8th January 2009, 3:23pm

Instead of Sliced having its own top five, we have decided to do blog posts with our individual top five lists, so here is mine, with which platform I played them on:

Number 5 - Mirror's Edge (Xbox 360)

EA seem to be trying a few new ideas at the moment. Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, and the new game announced today based on the medieval epic poem The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. Mirror's edge, although quite short, is an amazing piece of innovation and a welcome assett to the gaming industry. I can only hope that they bring out a second, more in-depth Mirror's Edge... with multiplayer.

Number 4 - Race Driver GRID (Xbox 360)

Every year there's one racing game that stands out. This year it's Race Driver GRID. Although the casual gamer seems to show no interest in the game, instead lusting for the latest Need for Speed or Midnight Club, GRID still holds the title for best looking racing game heading in to 2009. With realistic controls and vehicular damage, and loads of cars in each race, Race Driver GRID has everything a hardcore racing fan could want, including an amazing online setup.

Number 3 - Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)

Awe-inspiring is one adjective you can use when even just watching someone play through the singleplayer campaign of Gears of War 2. It's everything that the first game had, and then some. Its online mode had a bit of a glitchy start but is now much better after a couple of patches, and it is, in my opinion, definitely better than the latest Call of Duty.

Number 2 - World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (PC)

When I was twelve I thought I would never find games that I would play more than Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye. When World of Warcraft came out, I, like most of the gaming community, didn't think much of the game and had no intentions of playing it. Enter My Girlfriend's Dad. When I saw the game in action and the free-roaming exploration and combat possibilities, World of Warcraft was an obvious choice for a game to at least try out. Three years later and 200 days of /played time later, we have the latest expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. WotLK offers a far better experience than Burning Crusade, which many consider was a dud a couple of months after its launch. Blizzard has made sure that there is plenty of content to start off with, and although some guilds have already killed every boss in the game (mine included), a whole new raid is only a couple of weeks away. WotLK is everything that TBC wasn't, and it's looking even better with every patch.

Number 1 - Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)

Coming out in April 2008, GTA IV proved to the world that Rockstar still has it. There wasn't a game this year that came close to GTA IV as far as making me feel like I was actually in a full bustling world of AI, ready to change the course of their pitiful lives depending on the next bullet I fired. Flying over Manhattan Liberty City in a chopper, blowing up everything in sight, and searching for those darn 200 pidgeons makes GTA IV my number one game for 2008.

 

So there it is. Perhaps some of the most amazing games we will see this generation came out towards the end of 2008, and three of them made the cut on my list. There are plenty that just missed the boat, such as Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Mercenaries 2 and Fable 2, but for the reasons above, those five games truly deserve the spots they were given.

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Fighting Erupts as Melbournians wait for WoW Expansion

14th November 2008, 12:29am

Yes WoW fans, it's November 14th and the second World of Warcraft expansion titled Wrath of the Lich King is finally here. The forests of Lordaeron may be whispering the name Arthas, but Swanston Street looked nothing like the peaceful zones of Azeroth, with over 300 people, tensions rose as people waited in the rain for up to an hour past midnight.

We witnessed every possible sight, from a Guitar Hero World Tour competition, to massive piles of donuts and pizzas. The pizzas were actually passed around in the line, until eventually dumped on the ground by an angry WoW fan that needed a fix.

Sure enough, tensions built for two individuals that decided to have a bit of a rumble. We're guessing one of them has a Warlock as a main character, as it seemed he was trying to cast spells on the other guy while getting smacked in the jaw.  Fortunately for all the sane people there, the fight was soon broken up.

There was no numbering queue, no order, no mention of where to line up, everyone just ended up lining up to one side. It was quite the sight for passers by, all yelling out their comments that we assume they thought were both original and clever. Eventually a ray of sunshine cast down upon the people I was with, as we were told we could go to the front of the line due to the store we pre-ordered the game from.

It seemed like a well planned out event, but they didn't factor in the fact that it was in Melbourne. Having a midnight launch at a street store is absolutely ridiculous. Hopefully EB has learnt from this and will provide better service the next time they hold such a stunt. The free V drinks, pizzas and donuts didn't make up for the fact that outside in the rain, we were getting bombarded with V cans, soggy pizza boxes, and wet donut boxes that were getting blown around in the wind.

All in all, a fairly boring launch. It would have been a hell of a lot better if it was at Chadstone like last time. Out of the rain, plenty of room for everyone, and easier to structure. But who's honestly surprised that an EB event was a failure?

Pictures coming soon.

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Geometry Wars Goes Off!

11th August 2008, 10:03am

A couple of weeks ago I was searching for a Xbox LIVE Arcade title to get stuck in to. I read around the internet to see what other gamers were suggesting as the better games on the service, and time and time again Geometry Wars Retro Evolved came up. The original game that kicked things off on Xbox LIVE Arcade.  Fortunately I have a copy of the Arcade Unplugged disc with six full games and a few trials, and one of the full games is Geo Wars 1, so I chucked it in and started playing. I knew in the back of my mind that Geo Wars 2 wasn't too far away, but I didn't realise it was coming out only a few days later.

Surely enough, Microsoft sent us over a code to download Retro Evolved 2 to review, so I jumped on it, and I've been hooked ever since. Due to my moderator position at Xbox.com, I have a lot of people on my friends list that also purchased this title, and it's making the leader boards really competitive. We're all pushing each other further and resulting in getting scores that are in the top few thousand. It's a shame you can't go one-on-one over LIVE, but the offline co-op and versus are a great substitute. My girlfriend isn't as good due to not having anywhere near as much playtime as me, but going co-op on the different modes with her is great fun.

If you haven't played it, download the trial already. You have no idea what you're missing out on!

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Nick's in Germany, Let's Party!

7th July 2008, 10:15pm

That's right, our Editor-in-chief has gone to Germany for a couple of weeks so we're going to have a huge party while he's gone and drink all his booze.

Thanks to everyone who had a read of our content over the massive EA Battlefield: Bad Company week. We got some amazing traffic in that week, something Sliced hasn't seen since E3 last year. Speaking of E3, it starts in a week! Speaking of things that start in a week, I start my full time employment at GAME in a week!

That's right, I scored a job at GAME! Should be a great opportunity to work with people that are as informed about gaming as I am. When I was working at Subway, I overheard two workers talking about a PS2 and how they can't watch DVD's on it anymore.. and the "manager" was saying something along the lines of how the PS2 is not meant to be used as a DVD movie player.  OK then Subway dude!  I still haven't been paid for my ~55 hours I worked there last month, things are going to get nasty soon as the owners have actually sold the store recently so I'm pretty sure they're trying to skip out of paying me at all. Good thing people don't just disappear, especially people that work at banks. Yep, one of the owners works at a bank, and I know which one! I'll be getting my hard earned ~$1000 from them sooner or later.

Been busy gaming lately due to my Uni holidays. As you may have noticed, lots of content... MX vs ATV review, NASCAR 09 review, and just then I uploaded a Stuntman Ignition review. That DS review is still in the works as promised in my previous blog! I also just bought Conan (no not Age of Conan, just Conan the adventure game on 360), and The Darkness for $24 each from Dick Smith. Groovy prices! Going to have a few more reviews up hopefully before I start my full time employment at GAME. I'm so excited!!!

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Busy Week, eh?

26th June 2008, 9:24am

At the start of this week I had an idea of which games I would review to help with the EA Bad Company campaign, but things haven't turned out exactly as I thought. I decided to go up to Blockbuster and hire a couple of 360 games (neither of which have been reviewed yet, but you could find out one if you check my gamertag). Those two games were never on my initial list to review. I've also been playing more DS than normal lately, therefore resulting in such reviews as Soul Bubbles, Assassin's Creed and the patheticness that was Fantasy Aquarium. I've got another DS review coming shortly too! Also check out our Warhawk review on Playstation 3.

Battlefield Bad Company is definitely a controversial game. From what I've heard, the guns that you unlock from participating in the community (eg. playing demo, signing up to newsletter, pre-ordering game) are actually better than most of the weapons you can unlock in the full game. This just sounds weird to me, but perhaps they'll even it up a bit in patches. The demo was pretty solid, it introduces you to the Bad Company squad, and gives you a pretty good mission to run through. The game feels pretty open but it has its limitations of course. I can't wait to see how it does on the Xbox LIVE most-played charts, whether it can knock COD4 off its throne.

Anyway, just a couple more days left in the competition to win a copy of Bad Company so make sure you're looking out for those gold bars! They can be hidden anywhere in the Bad Company content now, not just the latest article.

Happy hunting!

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Games, Games, Games!!!

18th June 2008, 11:16pm

Metal Gear Solid 4, Warhawk, Quake Wars: Enemy Teritory, Xbox 360 demos, Tom Clancy's EndWar Private Beta, and Ninja Gaiden 2 expected in the mail.. it's crazy times on my desk at the moment!

I've got a uni exam early next week too, so not very good timing.

I'm guessing anyone that reads my blog has probably read my Quake Wars review.. wasn't terribly impressed with the online capabilities on 360 but apparently it's due to be fixed in patches.. I'll have to post up some news when that happens.

Warhawk is a pretty interesting game, has a bit of a community here in Aus, but hard to find servers with the same sort of ping that you expect when playing PC games..  It's a worthwhile purchase for about $20-30.. I grabbed it for $44 but hey I'll get a review out of it =)

Downloaded a few demos on 360 but I just haven't had time to play them yet.. games like Burst Limit.. I want to try them out but arghh! been too busy. What have I been busy with?  Working at Subway.  Pretty boring and miserable working conditions. I've already quit after starting just 3 weeks ago due to the manager/owner being a freak with serious personal life issues that was dampering the work environment. I'm yet to receive any pay from him yet either. I doubt Subway Mt. Waverley will be open for much longer unless they turn things around dramatically.


I've got a job again at Mc. Donalds...... ah the good old days! I enjoyed maccas more from memory compared to the time I spent at Subway. Should be fun working there again, and the managers seemed to really appreciate my resume which was good.. Only need to keep these retail jobs for another 18 months or so while I finish my uni degree of course though =)


I downloaded the EndWar beta this morning, haven't had a chance to play it yet but I will tomorrow.... the NDA that beta testers had to agree to is pretty strict though so there won't be any articles on Sliced about what the game is like unless we can get some special permission from Ubisoft *cough cough, wink wink*.

Metal Gear Solid 4 is great. Seems very polished, I've only played the first level or so, if you can call it that.. it was basically what Kojima showed in the live demonstration all those months ago.  Had a bit of fun, but I'm more used to Splinter Cell games than MGS so I'm having to learn how close I can get to the enemy before I have to attack..  That's what happens when you never owned a PSX and rarely played the PS2.

Well that's enough for me now.  Sliced is about to go BOOM by the way... You'll see. That grenade in Battlefield Bad Company's cover art.. when someone pulls the pin on that, it can be quite.. err.. EXPLOSIVE!!


You'll see... You'll all see...

 

-Chiefy

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Harvest Mooooooon!

15th April 2008, 10:42pm

Greetings all, I went to my local blockbuster today and saw they had Harvest Moon: Magic Melody! I love my Harvest Moon games so I went and bought it. Haven't played it yet, but I thought I'd share it with everyone. Might mention it in my next blog if you're lucky ;)

I hired Tony Hawk: Proving Grounds while I was at Blockbuster though... haven't played that one yet though either, heh. All in good time, young padawans!

In other news, I was given a World of Warcraft account to play on so I've been leveling a Hunter that was already level 66. I got him really close to level 68 but the servers have gone down for maintenance. It's been fun leveling in the Bone Wastes in Terokkar Forest and then in Nagrand. I should be able to get halfway through 68 before having to travel to one of the end-game zones so that's pretty groovy.

I handed my second assignment for the semester in last Thursday. It was due last Monday so it was a few days late but oh well. I didn't realise it was 2500 words, an extra 1000 of what I thought it was.. Took me a few days to add that extra content. I bet you'll never guess what the assignment was on! I'll give you a hint, you're reading one ... yep, blogs! I had to write 2500 words on whether blogs are democratising information flows and public knowledge. Nasty stuff!

Oh yeah, I played through Vegas 2 on Realistic since my last blog. It was a lot of fun, almost as much fun as the first game. I really love playing through the Tom Clancy games but for some reason I rarely go back to them once I've played them.

Anyway, enough from me for now.

Signing off,

Master Chief.

 

That reminds me! Here's an interesting statistic:

  • UNSC Campaign Kill Count:
    5,984,035,184

That's how many frags have occured in Halo 3 online matches. It's nearing the population of the world! Where do all these dead bodies go? Space. The final frontier. For dead Spartans.

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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune impressions.

7th April 2008, 12:24pm

Yes I know the game came out quite a while ago, but I only recently hired the game and played through it. I'd like to say one thing straight away.. The graphics in this game still have nothing on Genji, a launch title. Therefore Uncharted is most definitely not using the full potential of the Playstation 3, and could probably run on a Xbox 360 quite easily.

The game does have its moments though, like when you climb to the top of a waterfall and then look out over the horizon, the draw distance is pretty incredible.. As my girlfriend pointed out though the main reason Genji got bad reviews was because of the fixed camera. Well in Uncharted, about 30-40% of the game has a fixed camera..

Anyway, it's still a really great game and I'd recommend any PS3 owner that hasn't played it to go grab it now. It's definitely not going to sell consoles, but it's still a great game to play while you wait for Home, SOCOM, Little Big Planet, MGS4, GTA IV, and Gran Turismo 5. Games that were promised to Playstation fans since launch and still don't have confirmed release dates over a year after the console was released (bar GTA of course).

Apart from that, I've been busy with Uni assignments and playing some Team Fortress 2. I also put in Assassin's Creed the other day just to run around the kingdom and find some flags and templars. Was pretty fun, I'm glad I didn't go nuts on it at launch so that I can come back to it now and still have plenty to do.

I beat Burnout Paradise, almost 100%. I can never be bothered with online achievements, and setting a time challenge and showtime rule on each road seemed like a monotonous task after getting my Elite licence, so I didn't see it was worth the 40 achievement points I'd get.

That reminds me, I'm now sitting at 24935 achievement points! I've sort of got planned to get 25,000 when GTA IV comes out but it's going to mean that I can't really play much Xbox 360 over the next month.. As long as I can play TF2 and all my new Wii games it should be alright though.

Anyway, better get back to my Uni work. 

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Hands On with Bad Company

28th March 2008, 4:16pm

Howdy folks, thought I'd use a similar title for this blog as I did with my last blog, works well really.

Anyway, fortunately I was lucky enough to get my hands on a beta key to play some Battlefield Bad Company on Xbox 360 nice and early. The game is actually not due out until at least January 2009, so to play it this early is really a treat. The actual game that us beta gamers are testing is an even earlier version of the game than they are currently showing in gameplay trailers, etc. and consists of two maps only. From what I've played of it so far, it looks like it's going to be a rather revolutionary online war game. The pure fact that you can blow your way through buildings to make your own path to the enemy means there's a whole new aspect of gameplay/warfare to consider.

Although it's hard to find a game full of Aussies unless you're on in peak times, it's still not that hard to get some kills as long as it's from a distance. The beta suffers from the same lag issues that the Call of Duty 4 beta suffered from, that being the fact that us Aussies can unload a round into an American's big fat head and still watch as they run up to you and knife you. Gotta love that latency! This is perfectly acceptable and understandable though, playing against people in other countries is always going to be laggy until a faster type of internet is invented, and that's not something the game developers can do.

In other news, I've been playing lots of Burnout Paradise which I borrowed from my girlfriend's brothers in exchange for her DS, heh. It's a great game, I've just earnt my full Burnout licence which sort of means that I've beaten the game. The credits rolled and all that, but there's still lots to do in the game. You can get your Elite licence, and then there's the whole online aspect.  If you haven't played Paradise yet due to the fact that you think it's changed too much since Burnout 3, you should still at least hire it. There's heaps to do in the game with over 70 cars to unlock and plenty of jumps and shortcuts to explore.

Random fact of the day: Quentin Tarantino is 45 today. 

I'm done!

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Hands On with Brawl

18th March 2008, 7:07pm

It's been a few months since my last blog, been terribly busy catching up on PC games and enjoying my summer, but I thought I'd let everyone know that Super Smash Bros. Brawl NTSC-U arrived on my desk yesterday.

From all the hype the game had received, I decided to not hope for too much. Hype has a tendency to ruin games within the gaming community - take Assassin's Creed for example - but Super Smash Bros. Brawl delivers all that I expected, and more.

I don't want to say too much about the game as people don't want to hear spoilers, but Brawl is definitely a lot more than Melee ever was, and that's saying something considering Melee was probably the most-player GameCube game.  More characters, more game modes, a much better singleplayer game (which can be co-op too!), and lots and LOTS of those addictive statues to collect, Brawl is easily the best game to come out on the Wii so far.  Now that might not be saying much, SMG was more repetitive than Assassin's Creed, and Twilight Princess was just a GameCube game disguised to help launch a rushed gimmick of a console, but finally we are seeing a game that makes me glad to be a Wii owner.  Here's hoping Mario Kart Wii will provide equal satisfaction.

 

In other news, I'm back at Uni now, studying New Media and Youth Media.  One is about mobile phones, internet, iPods, etc. and the other is about mobile phones, internet, iPods, etc.  It really is an awesome semester for me, hah.  Both subjects are on-campus at Monash Uni Clayton which means I have to go to Uni on Tuesday and Thursday. Hooray!

Aside from Uni and Brawl, I've been playing a lot of Team Fortress 2 on PC, and enjoying playing several PC games like Flight Sim X, Sim City 4, and AOE3.  I also played through Warcraft 3 and the Frozen Throne expansion which made World of Warcraft make a lot more sense. Pity World of Warcraft isn't worth playing unless there's new content that you can actually play without spending 7 days a week grinding on the stupid game.  That being said, can't wait for Lich King.

To wrap things up, I'd like to say Brawl is great and everyone should get it when it comes out here in Aus.  It definitely makes every other game on the Wii seem like utter crap, which it is.

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My New PC!

8th December 2007, 7:43pm

Hey everyone, haven't posted a blog in a while but we're getting a new blog feature so it will be more prominent on the site so I thought I would update you all with my new PC that I have built over the past few days.  The specs of the new PC are..

 Quad core duo Intel 6600 CPU

4gb DDR2 RAM

500GB HDD

Asus 8800GTX

Gigabyte pcsomethingosmething motherboard

Pioneer DVD drive

Samsung 22" 226BW LCD 

Silverstone 650W PSU

Silverstone Media Case.

 

It all looks sexy but there's a bit of a story to building it. I originally went for 2 8800GTS's, and asked the techs at the PC shop if they would work together on the motherboard.  This dumb yank at the CPL store (DON'T SHOP THERE!) told me they would, and that he builds PC's all the time and knows what he's talking about, so I didn't bother to check if it was SLI compliant.  Turns out it wasn't, so I took the two graphics cards back and asked to change it over for a GTX.  All of a sudden I was getting hit with a 10% "restocking fee" which comes up to a hideous $97.80, and also they wouldn't refund the difference between the GTS's and the GTX but instead give me store credit of $170ish.  This totally pissed me off and I told my folks about it and they decided to take this further.....

Currently we're waiting for a reply from the small claims tribunal or something for the almost $300 that CPL (DON'T SHOP THERE!) have stolen from us.  Sure, a pessimist could argue that it is my fault for not researching if the MB is SLI compliant, but the thing is, they were selling that motherboard in their absolute best gaming package so I thought it would be. It wasn't until I took it home, screwed it in, screwed in the graphics cards, etc, set up Vista, and noticed the graphics cards weren't working together that I knew something was wrong, and apparently even 24 hours after you purchase something is too late to take an item back even if it is still working perfectly fine without this stupid store charging 10% "restocking fee".  The "restocking fee" can even be as high as 20% too, as it says in very small print on an A4 sign on the wall that is apparently "law", or so the store claims.  I later printed out "If CPL has ever sold me the wrong item then I will murder them" on my wall, so apparently that's now a legal document too, regardless of whether they know about it or not.. or at least, according to their theory of law.

The computer works great don't get me wrong.  I only bought the case/PSU/Motherboard and graphics cards from CPL (DON'T SHOP THERE!!!!).  Got the rest from MSY and they were great. The DVD drive didn't work at first but I took it back and they swapped it straight over and now it works fine.

Crysis runs great, I'm running it on fairly high settings.. Haven't gotten too far into it yet as on Monday my Xbox 360 controller receiver arrives so then I can play it using a 360 controller.  I've conneted my 32" samsung to my PC too, and I'm using the speakers for that setup too, so everything I watch and play shall be on a 32" screen with the Logitech Z5500's, and everything I play will most likely be with a 360 controller unless it's complicated.  Can't wait!

 Anyway, won't say too much more today as this blog might not get put on the front page in the new code, so I'll wait for the next blog entry and perhaps I can let everyone know the conclusion of my nice little ordeal with CPL (NEVER SHOP THERE!!!). They're seriously going to go out of business one day.. I'm really not sure why I still shopped there, all of my mates know it's crap and I hate the service.. I should have seen this coming.

Signing off,

Chiefy. 

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The Ultimate Game Charts of Mine!

3rd June 2007, 8:33pm

In case you couldn't guess from the title of the blog, below you will find chart lists of my favourite games & consoles.  Firstly, favourite games on all platforms, then individual platforms.

All games have been tried and tested, and given the Wii and PS3 don't have that many games on offer, the top 5's are basically the games that I've played in order from favourite to least favourite.

All lists are subject to change, and all the current-gen console lists are expected to change dramatically before Christmas. Some consoles are not in the list as I never properly experienced what they had to offer, eg: SNES, PSX, Sega.

Game Charts:

Games
1. World of Warcraft - Burning Crusade (PC)
2. QuakeWorld TF (PC)
3. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
4. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Xbox)
5. Counter-Strike: Source (PC)
6. Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)
7. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
8. Goldeneye 64 (N64)
9. Test Drive: Unlimited (Xbox 360)
10. Red Alert (PC)

Platforms
1. PC Games
2. Xbox
3. Nintendo 64
4. NES
5. Tie - Playstation 2 + Nintendo Handhelds

PC Games
1. World of Warcraft - Burning Crusade
2. QuakeWorld TF
3. Counter-Strike: Source
4. Red Alert
5. Wolfenstein

Xbox 360
1. Test Drive: Unlimited
2. Project Gotham Racing 3
3. Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
4. Dead or Alive 4
5. Gears of War

Playstation 3
1. NHL 2K7
2. Genji 2: Days of the Blade
3. Need for Speed: Carbon
4. Gran Turismo HD
5. Ridge Racer 7

Nintendo Wii
1. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
2. Wii Sports
3. Excite Truck
4. Call of Duty 3
5. Wii Play

Xbox
1. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
2. Halo: Combat Evolved
3. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
4. Forza Motorsport
5. Project Gotham Racing

Playstation 2
1. SOCOM - Online Review
2. God of War
3. SOCOM 2
4. Grand Theft Auto 3
5. God of War 2

GameCube
1. Super Smash Bros. Melee
2. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Master Quest)
3. Legend of Zelda: Windwaker
4. Wrestlemania XIX
5. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life

Nintendo 64
1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2. Goldeneye 64
3. Mario Kart 64
4. Lylat Wars (Star Fox)
5. Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey

NES
1. Super Mario Bros. 3
2. Aussie Rules Football
3. International Cricket
4. Super Mario Bros.
5. Battletoads

Nintendo Handhelds
1. Mario Kart Super Circuit (GBA)
2. Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (GameBoy)
3. Pokemon Blue (GameBoy)
4. Super Mario Land (GameBoy)
5. Rising Sun (GBA)

 

Once again, a reminder that all charts are subject to change, and will change.  The lists are more for me than for you. Kind of.  All links are to MY reviews of games. 

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Never Trust eBay people.

23rd May 2007, 1:38pm

so I've finally had my first unpaid item experience on eBay after doing over 150 transactions.

The user: green_tropical_fruit, his email: tropical_fruit@optusnet.com.au.  The auction finished for the item I was selling (Mario Kart DS) a little over a month ago, and it sold alongside my DS and numerous other DS games that I was selling as part of my Winter clean-out.  Everything else sold fine, but for this item I got no replies, no nothing.  I was monitoring their activity on eBay and I actually watched them buy something, pay for it, receive it, and get feedback/post feedback while I was still waiting for my payment.

I'm very glad I never send items until payment is made, and Andrew Nguyen (tropical_fruit@optusnet.com.au), you should be ashamed of yourself.  Luckily eBay give you credit on unpaid items so I'm not at much of a loss, apart from having to relist a game and possibly not get as much for it, as most games lose value every week.

I tried to leave negative feedback after I had gotten my credit back from eBay to find the user is no longer registered.  He must have shut down his eBay account in the past 24 hours because it didn't say that yesterday.  Truly disgusting.

 

In other news, I'm busy with my University assignments and can't wait for Forza 2!  Starcraft 2 looks great, I watched the 22 minute developer walkthrough this morning, seems to have a lot of similarities to WoW, such as the new "blink" ability that mages have.  I doubt I'll get Starcraft 2 though, I'm not a huge fan of RTS's and this one looks like it will be for the hardcore strategist only.

Shame they weren't making World of Starcraft!

 

Anyway, enough from me.  Peace out, and make sure to play it safe on ebay because there's idiots out there. 

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I bought stuff!

28th April 2007, 1:28pm

Well, I sold my Nintendo DS as I hadn't played it for almost a year.. Sold all the games I had too, and made a buns.

bunsen burner.

nice little earner.

$$$$$$$$$$$!!

 

Anyway, I went on a bit of a spending spree, and here's what I bought:

  • Need for Speed Carbon (PS3)
  • SIXAXIS Controller (PS3)
  • NHL 2K7 (PS3)
  • Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (Xbox 360)
  • 1500 Microsoft Points (Xbox 360)
  • Forza Motorsport 2 Collector's Edition Pre-Order (Xbox 360)

Unfortunately none of it has arrived yet.  I bought the controller, NFS and GRAW 2 from Play-Asia.com who have GREAT prices, but you have to wait for them to arrive from Hong Kong.  I got UPS postage which is 1-3 days, but payment only went through on Wednesday and the item was shipped on Thursday so it didn't end up coming this week, but should arrive on Monday or Tuesday!

I got the 1500 Microsoft Points and Forza 2 pre-order from my good friend Phil over at DVDCrave.com.  They've got a great price for Forza 2, and the 1500 Microsoft points is the cheapest you can find, which they send digitally so you don't have to pay for postage either.

NHL 2K7 I got off ebay for a cool $32, but the seller seems a bit dodgy and has slow/expensive postage.. If my stuff from Play-Asia gets here before NHL (which I paid for a day or two before I placed my order at Play-Asia) then he's going to receive some interesting feedback considering he lives in Melbourne, and so do I.

What's unfortunate is that I only just realised I have an assignment due in on Tuesday.  It's an assignment for a subject where the textbooks and coarsework got delayed so all the assignments got extended due dates and I forgot to write them down on the day, I wrote them elsewhere =(  so I'll be busy working on that for the rest of the weekend and will hopefully knock it out before any of my games get here!

I'm not sure what I'm going to spend the 1500 points on.. I wanted the points earlier actually so I could buy some of the Test Drive: Unlimited DLC but now that the Forza 2 demo is due out in less than a week, Test Drive will be pretty redundant online.  I might even sell it.   Maybe I'll use the points on future downloadable content, like the new Crackdown stuff, or maybe some of the games coming out will have downloadable content.. Perhaps Forza 2 will have something to do with Porsche's, like a gamertag picture!  I'd buy that!

So I got Bullet Witch for winning a competition over at the official Xbox forums.. It's not a bad game, just there's lots of room for improvement.  I'll be doing the review some time, it's already started.. I swear!  I won the competition for reviewing Crackdown, lol. =P

That's about it for me at the moment.. You can check out my mySpace here!  It's got songs that I've written/recorded, but they're not very good quality =P I don't have expensive recording equipment unfortunately.. 

Signing out,

Chiefy. 

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Jack Thompson, Welcome to my blog.

19th April 2007, 12:32pm

Hey there Jack, ya freakin' knob.

Jack Thompson has made a career out of lies. He'd be a great politician! In the past couple of days he's been on Fox News (and I'm sure many other news shows) discussing the Virginia Tech shootings.

Before I start, my condolences go out to all the families, friends, colleagues, students, and anyone who is even slightly connected emotionally with those that were killed, wounded, or even nearby. More sympathetic with you, I could not be.

Now that I've got that out of the way, Jack Thompson, you need to confront your own personal issues and anger towards one of the most enjoyable things to do on earth. Playing video games gets kids off the street, it STOPS them from committing crimes, it's a stress reliever, it STOP kids from doing drugs, it STOPS kids from going to raves, it STOPS kids from so much more than it causes.

The way you can come out only hours after the shootings occured to say that the shooter "trained" on Doom and GTA is just disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself. Anybody that knows you should be ashamed of themselves. Anybody that has ever sided with you in an argument regarding ANYTHING should be ashamed of themselves. You are one of the most pathetic excuses of a human being I've ever come across. You cause extra grief and extra distress in a time when compassion and love is needed the most. You disgust me.

People do not "train" on video games. If there weren't video games, you'd blame movies. If there weren't movies, you'd blame TV shows. If there weren't TV shows, you'd blame the radio. If there wasn't radio, you'd blame literature. Where does it end, dick head?

The South Korean responsible for the killings was insane. His teacher went to the university administrators AND THE POLICE to seek help, but they were not interested. The warning signs were there, just like 9/11, and the officials did nothing. Surely they're to blame more than video games. Surely if there was one thing in this sad South Korean mans life that he enjoyed, it MIGHT of been playing video games. Perhaps if the video game industry was better supported, the games would be at a more affordable price, and the South Korean could have played more games and the whole event could have been avoided. Who knows? You don't Jack, you don't.

I pity your 14 year-old son. Missing out on what many boys his age enjoy. The fact that you can connect video games to people using guns in real life makes me laugh, Jack. Guns have been around a lot longer than video games, and guess what? People used them for violent rampages back then too! In fact, the rate of using guns for violent rampages has surely decreased over the past fifty years.

In summary, video games are NOT to blame for anything that you connect it to Jack. You are a sad little man, and gain reputation on the loss of people you claim to care about. There are three factors that are to blame, not including the killer himself. Religion, the officials, and the gun laws. With no religion, none of this would happen. If the officials (University administrators and police officers) had BRAINS, none of this would happen. If there were no guns, none of this would happen. I rest my case.

If you agree with any of these comments, you may want to sign this petition.  The petition isn't mine, just someone from the official Xbox 360 forums asked me to add it here! =)

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MySpace Music & Gun

13th April 2007, 1:27am

Just a couple of quick things for those who read my blog.. firstly, I've uploaded a few of the songs that I've written on to MySpace for the whole wide world to hear.. you can find them here!  Feel free to add me as your friend, as long as you don't post anything silly I won't delete you =D

Secondly,  I just reviewed GUN!  I was pissed off because I got to the last boss and I died on him because you have to kill him in the most retarded way and I had no idea, and when I went to restart the fight, the game froze.  I hadn't saved it as I assumed there was an auto-save function, and it reset me all the way back to like 1/3rd of the way through the game.  It really got on my nerves, but I tried not to let it show in the review.  You can find it here!

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I have 1 Playstation 3!

11th April 2007, 11:54pm

That's right, one Playstation 3 for me, none for you!  Then again, this guy has 3.  He's pretty special, in more than one way if you know what I'm saying...

Anyway, My girlfriend and I arranged to get a Playstation 3, and we ordered it at possibly the worst time of the year.. right before Easter break.  It sat there with the payment approved for 5 long days, then finally on Tuesday it was dispatched and it arrived here today (Wednesday) at 10:30AM! I was still in my PJ's!

After spending like 2 hours setting it up, I finally got in to some Gran Turismo HD.. It's fairly awesome, but I recommend not playing it at all until you at LEAST get component cables.  I got some HDMI cables at around 4pm today after spending a couple of hours staring at a really bland looking Playstation 3, and it completely changed the entire console.  HDMI is the BOMB!

I also downloaded the Resistance: Fall of Man demo, and I must say it's pretty impressive.  The graphics are very crisp, but I don't really like how when you zoom in the gun looks like a turret weapon. There's a few things that could have easily been changed in Resistance to make it a much more appealing title, but all up it looks great and doesn't handle all that badly.  I'll probably grab it when it gets cheaper, or if Sony are kind enough to send us some review content now that we have a Playstation 3 at Sliced.

What's with EB?  Were they always completely stupid in the face?  Even today, they were telling me they can't price match an online store because they don't have a shop front.... So they don't pay rent, big deal.. You charge people insane prices for games every day.. Surely you can match an online store and still make profit, nubs.

That's what I got from them today when I went in and asked them to price match on a PS3 controller.. They told me all that crap, and then they told me that they didn't have any PS3 controllers in stock anyway.  Wasting my time, as usual.  Not sure why I go in there anymore.. I guess the 2 for 50 deal the other week wasn't all that bad.

In other news, I'm really looking forward to a game called Two Worlds. It's looking totally awesome, much like Oblivion except it offers up to 8 player co-op on XBL.  It's coming out on PC apparently too.. it's going to be an MMO with no monthly fee! Look out WoW, god damn.  This game looks 10 times better than WoW, hopefully the physics are awesome too.  There will be a good length preview of the game later on this week, I've received a fair bit of information on the game =)

 Well I've had my rant.. Back to playing on my PS3.. Expect reviews for Kameo, Gun, THAW, Ridge Racer, Genji, and the PS3 hardware which will include Gran Turismo HD. Should take a while to both write and read =P

Cheers. 

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GTA IV Trailer Arrives.

30th March 2007, 11:52am

So the trailer was finally released this morning (no I'm not talking about the 90 second video on Youtube of a Caravan with a GTA IV logo on it), and it has asked more questions than it answered really.  The new "main guy" that I guess you play as is from the Soviet area of the world.  I wouldn't call him Russian exactly, but he definitely sounds Eastern European.

The city is New York, or as the GTA guys like to call it, Liberty City.. and it's improved dramatically in size and detail.  There looks like there's hundreds of people and taxis on the road around the Times Square bit, and the whole city looks incredible..

But what would you expect from a game due out later on this year? It has to live up to the hype of the GTA series AND at the same time, compete with games such as Halo 3, Bioshock, Crysis, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, and any other great titles I've missed.  The game does look like a significant improvement on the likes of Saints Row, San Andreas and Crackdown, but there's another game coming out soon that we have our eyes on too.  It's called All Points Bulletin (or APB).  People tried to fool others by saying the trailer for this game was the new GTA game.  Although it does look sweet, it doesn't look like GTA.

When both games hit the stores later on this year it will be very tough for APB to stand a chance as most hardcore gamers and casual gamers alike are hooked to the GTA series, but it will be interesting to see how the reviews go, and whether GTA IV can live up to its reputation now that there are many more Open World games available.

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Xbox 360 1 Year Birthday in Australia

22nd March 2007, 6:59pm

The 360 has been in Australia for a year now.  Has it changed the gaming world forever?

With a launch title list unlike any other console launch, the Xbox 360 offered leading franchise games like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Amped 3, Dead or Alive 4, Top Spin 2, Perfect Dark Zero and Project Gotham Racing 3.  The Xbox 360 was born with some very strong support.  In Australia exactly one year ago, gamers queued up for the midnight launch of the Xbox 360, eager in anticipation to experience Microsoft's second console, and all the goodies that they had heard about not only from Microsoft, but also from the hundreds of thousands of people in other parts of the world that were already enjoying it.

The Xbox 360 was available in two different packs, the core and premium.  The Core Pack was much cheaper but was quite unpopular given it had no hard drive or wireless controller.  It seemed most gamers wanted the premium.  Top selling games in America including Oblivion and PGR3 flew off the shelves in Australia being favourites among the proud new owners, but it was promised titles in the making that sold the console for a lot of people.  Gears of War, Test Drive: Unlimited, Splinter Cell Double Agent, Halo 3, Forza 2, Bioshock, Fable 2, Mass Effect, GTA4, and the list goes on.  After the console was released, gamers found out they would be able to play some games that they thought would be Playstation 3 exclusives: Assassin's Creed, Devil May Cry 4, Final Fantasy, the possibilities for the Xbox 360 seem unlimited.

As the year progressed, we saw some of the best games that have ever blessed the gaming world.  Gears of War was quite possibly the biggest title, closely followed by all of the Tom Clancy games, Saints Row, Call of Duty 3, Test Drive: Unlimited, F.E.A.R., Prey, Lost Planet, and many more exceedingly good games.  However, the Xbox 360 has basically had the year to itself.  Nintendo is heading in a different direction with their Wii, games like Call of Duty 3 got ported to the console but it simply can't handle the next-gen graphics and physics.  Next week the Playstation 3 comes out in Australia, and fans of the Xbox 360 should expect to see a few changes.

The fight will be on as Sony cements its new console into the already clustered gaming market.  The Playstation 2 will disappear off the shelves, and gamers will be feeling the pain in the back of their pockets if they choose to head the way of the PS3, but to get something good you have to pay the price.  With Blu-Ray technology, the PS3 looks to be a great console with new ideas and more developed ideas of things that you can already find on the Wii and 360.  Resistance: Fall of Man looks like a great launch first person shooter title, and Gran Turismo isn't that far away, but can the Playstation 3 compete with the Xbox 360's lineup in 2007?  When putting titles on the table, we see the games are very much in favour of the Xbox 360 which is significantly cheaper and more established.  Forza 2 is just around the corner which will be serious competition for Gran Turismo, Project Gotham Racing 4 is also due this year.  Resistance will get quite a lot of resistance with the likes of Halo 3, and possibly the most anticipated PS3 title of 2007 Assassin's Creed is now being made for the Xbox 360.

It seems Microsoft is in a pretty good position.

What do Xbox 360 gamers have to say about the console being around for a year?  They're quite happy that Microsoft are lowering the price of their online service Xbox Live.  They're not as happy about the fact that their warranties are expiring, but that's life right?  The Xbox 360 has seen a lot of technical difficulties.  Lots of gamers have complained about the "Flashing Red Lights Of Death" as they like to call it.  In fact, Gears of War had an update which broke a lot of Xbox 360's due to there being an Xbox Live update at the same time.  Microsoft have endeavored to replace or fix any damaged consoles and help with their customers as much as possible, which is the kind of support that forms loyalty to a company, and I commend Microsoft for their work.

 In conclusion, the past year was the calm before the storm.  Gamers got to enjoy their Xbox 360 with scattered excellent titles being released throughout the year, but now that the Xbox 360's competition has finally arrived, Microsoft will be kicking into gear for a big advertising campaign on every title they think is worth selling.  If you thought you knew your Xbox 360, wait until this time next year and let me know if you did.

Signing out,

Chiefy. 

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WoW, Crackdown and GRAW 2. Cool...

22nd February 2007, 2:39pm

So, been busy on WoW lately twinking out my dwarf priest at 19 =) he's fairly overpowered now, kills any non twinks easy even though he's specced to heal!  Apart from that though, I've been pretty busy with other things.. writing some content for Sliced, did you like the screens for the Oblivion expansion and the new Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 hands-on preview I uploaded today? =D

 For valentines day my girl bought me Xbox Live! How cool is that.  I'm just waiting for Crackdown to come out and then I'll activate the 12 months of console online gaming goodness!  Can't wait for Crackdown, but I won't buy it if I can't get one with a key to the H3 Beta.. should be interesting to see if the stores actually try to stinge people extra money for the ones that have the keys.. I'm not sure whether or not they all come with keys? or only some? either way..

I'm also looking forward to starting back at University.. I'm doing a few interesting subjects.. Media Law, International Journalism.. and.. wait for it... EXTREMES!  That's right, I'm doing a subject called extremes!   The full name of the subject is "Extremes: Natural Hazards and Human Vulnerability" but that just makes it even cooler, right?  The last of the four subjects I have this semester is going to be the hardest, I can feel it already... I've gotta read Hamlet and Pride & Prejudice..... then give a university standard response to questions on them!  I'm gonna die!  Oh well, a good mark would let me get an even better job in journalism or anything I wanted to do in that field really =)

So there's not much else happening round here lately.. We just got a new $3500 air con system, evaporative cooling it is.  Quite an interesting way to cool the house, you have to have your windows open.  It sounds like it wouldn't work, but it actually works REALLY well... I'm walking round in a jumper on 35 degree days! with the window open!

That's all from me.

Signing out,
Chiefy. 

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Happy New Year!

6th January 2007, 1:44pm

Well today's the 6th and I'm sunburnt all over. yay!

Me and my girly went to Sorrento/Portsea 2 days ago and it was packed! It was weird though because I put sunscreen on.. twice! Never in my life have i reapplied sunscreen in the same day, but for some reason I got burnt.. pretty bad!

Oh well, at least it gave me an excuse to lounge around and play Rainbow Six Vegas all day yesterday.  Yep, I got it for christmas from my mum, yay go her!

Vegas is pretty good and well worth the purchase.  It's the best Rainbow Six game that I've played, but probably not the best Tom Clancy game I've played.. It's up there though.. and definitely solidifying its place in the Tom Clancy games.. I thought Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon were leaving the Rainbow Six series for dead until now.

2007 is here!  You know what that means? Assassin's Creed... GTA IV, Halo 3, Mario Galaxy, Crysis, Burning Crusade, etc etc etc.  The list for 2007 looks like one of the best lists ever!  I'm hoping to pick up Xbox Live some time early this year also, just need to work out a way to get money first.. I'm pretty broke after christmas/new years =(

Anyway, I'ma stop typing now because my sunburn is hurting =(  Cyaz next time.

Signing out,

Chiefy 

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Wii Break

10th December 2006, 1:46pm

Joke after joke after joke... Wii this, Wii that... I never thought I'd think up "Wii Break" so quickly and thoughtlessly, but yep, there's another Wii joke. I am taking a break from my Wii.. I've put over 20 hours into Zelda already and I've only had it for 3 days. It's INSANE!

Wii Sports is also uber-awesome. You can check out my review of it here...

I've got a score of at least 500 on all the different games I think... Haven't reached 1000 on any yet though, I'm at around 850 on boxing! The games are so addictive but I'm finding them hard to keep playing for ages when it's 40 degrees outside here in Melbourne.

Oh yeah, the Chadstone launch was pretty awesome. Lots of Nintendo reps were there, but I wasn't really in the mood for talking. The guy talking on the microphone was too loud anyway, and the music was like as loud as a nightclub so I was shouting at my GF just to talk to her while we were waiting in line.

I ended up getting a pretty good deal... For $531 they gave me Zelda, Wii Sports (duh), Wii Play (with Wii Remote, a carry case, a Wii t-shirt that I'm wearing today, a Wii key chain that my girlfriend takes an unbridled interest in.. (I think she wants it!) and of course the Wii itself. Ended up getting home at around 2am that night and then I played Zelda for 3 hours. Didn't even look at all the functions on the dashboard until the next day, creating my own Mii and stuff.. That was pretty fun.

I've hooked up my Wii with my friends one who lives about 4 suburbs away and we sent each other our Mii's.. The system still seems fairly premature though, there's lots of stuff still to be done, most of the online progs aren't working yet.

My WoW subscription ended Friday night which kinda had good timing for the Wii I guess.. I've ordered another time card which I'll get Monday but I'm not sure whether I'll use it straight away... I'll have the place to myself this week so I might enjoy it without playing WoW non-stop trying to get the Grand Marshal bow now that the new honor system is in place. I do need to do the grind, but thankfully if I stop playing I don't lose honor anymore, hooray! Thanks Blizzard for giving me a reason to stop playing WoW for a while.

Anyway, I think in Zelda I'm a little past half way in the main quest. I haven't done a lot of the side stuff though, I'll probably do more of it before the last boss/temple so that I can get more heart pieces and stuff. I really need a larger wallet, this 300 rupee wallet is killing me. I've got no idea where to get it though. Zelda FTW!

Anyway I'm out. Signing off, The Chief.

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Wii and Halo Thwii and Wiirld of Wiircraft

2nd December 2006, 12:03pm

5 days... 5 days until it's all over.  I shall roll down the shutters on my window and buy lots of coke, for Twilight Princess shall bless my screen as I get my Wii at an EB midnight launch =)  Can't WAIT!

I love EB

Yep, I pre-ordered the Wii, mostly thanks to my girlfriend =) it's an early christmas present. yay! In the bundle I get the console, an extra controller, Zelda, NFS Carbon, and a carry case.  Not bad for $600.

First, we went into Toys r Us to preorder their "essentials" bundle but there was a big sign saying "ATTENTION: ESSENTIALS AND FAMILY BUNDLES NO LONGER ON OFFER BUT YOU CAN STILL ORDER A WII CONSOLE"

Huh? What?  That's not going to slow me down.  we walked straight out of Toys r Us and straight in to EB which was literally 4 shops down, and I asked the helpful girl on the counter what deals EB has for the Wii (even though I already knew that they just offered the Wii with a few gimmicky things) but she followed up telling me about that with "we'll match any other pre-order deals you have found though."

BINGO!

So I asked... Can you match the Toys R Us deal? =) so yeah.  That's how I'm getting an awesome deal from EB.  And I get it at midnight too... Although there's probably going to be roughly 100-150 people there so I want to get there an hour early or so to get a good position in the line and to join in the atmosphere.. there will be freebies and Wii's set up everywhere to play while we're waiting.. It will be a big Wii party!

 

HALO 3 NEW TRAILER Z0MG!

Yerp, it's true. new trailer coming out next week.. 60 seconds of "drooltime".  Should give me a slight break from Twilight Princess when I watch it =)  Been looking forward to seeing some gameplay footage but I dunno if this trailer will have any.  They're airing it during the ESPN Monday Night Football in America and then it will be available to download on the Xbox 360 marketplace =D

WoW New Patch..... Honor goes bye-bye!

Doesn't affect people TOO much, just those that have been trying to reach a rank.. It's going to totally screw me over I think.. My rogue is at 75% through rank 9 and I need rank 10 to complete my Rare PVP set.. The coolest pieces of them all, the shoulders and helmet.  I'll get to keep my rank 10 but I don't think I'll be able to buy the gear.. I'm going to have to save up with the new honor system to get them =( how FRUSTRATING!

 Blizzard should have a roll-over time where there is both the new and the old on the system.. It always works best when implementing new business systems in companies, so why not do it in a game too? it's so annoying that they can't leave the server up for another hour or two while the honor calculates so that people can get their last rank.. They tell you when the new patch is coming like less than 1 week before it comes up so you have no grace time to finish up.. it's all sudden and unpredictable.  Probably what will lead me to stop playing WoW.. I'm getting REALLY sick of the way blizzard is treating loyal customers.

 HD mofos!

Just got my results for another semester in Journalism at Monash University and I got a HD in Online Journalism =)  Seems I DO know what I'm talking about after all... Hehehe! eat that stupid English Language teacher from Caulfield Grammar.  and that stupid chinese lady with the English accent in year 9 that failed me in English.. Yep, I failed year 9 English and now I'm getting high distinctions in Journalism at Monash University.  The system works!!!

Christmas is just around the corner

have you got your loved one a present?  My girl is getting something special =) can't wait for Christmas so she can know what it is! I'd give it to her early, but it really makes no difference when she gets it and kinda, the later she gets it the better.  I don't want to say what it is because she reads my blog hehe. no hints allowed!

I'm writing out a list of what I want for Christmas.. Mum asked me to, I think i'm getting a bit old for it but I guess it's a good opportunity to ask for alcohol. I've thrown a couple of gaming things on the list.. she might get one of them as a main present hopefully? we'll see... Rainbow Six Vegas isn't that expensive i've noticed.

 

That's enough from me.  I've been spending a bit of time on the official Australian Xbox 360 forum lately.. it's much better moderated than in the early days of the Xbox. Just thougt I'd add that in =) Oh and beware, Sliced is getting some changes soon....

 Signing out, Chief.

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Blogs of War

24th November 2006, 6:44pm

So, Gears of War is out.  What a freaking AWESOME game it is too.  I particularly like the part where you cruise around on the ..... Oh wait, let's not spoil the game for others :)

 Review is up, I spent so long playing this game, and still want to play it more.  It's like Halo all over again.  I wonder what's more believable - Halo or Gears of War?  I'd say Halo.  I doubt very much there's an alien race growing in force under our feet.  War of the Worlds is just a story.  I very much believe that there's aliens out there somewhere in the universe, whether they're evil or not is another story but if they are, something similar to Halo could happen in the future.

 For those that didn't notice, there's also a Project Gotham Racing 3 review up.  We're trying to build some more support for the Xbox 360 and so you might see some more of the not so recent release titles being reviewed, especially over this coming weekend.

I just found out I'm getting a Wii, so that will be completely totally cool in like two weeks!  I was worried for a while that others would play Zelda and then tell me all about it and ruin it for me before I got a chance to play it, but not any more! Zelda TP shall be mine to conquer.  I love so much that I live in Australia right now, as it's holidays for university students, and so many top titles are coming out =)  Don't have to go back to studies until March, so I'll be able to beat TP like twice maybe three times! Wii Sports looks like a load of fun too, I don't know how I'll hide it from my little brother, he'll be all like "oh can i play it"... pfft.  he stole my drink today, I don't like him at all.

Anyway, as far as World of Warcraft goes, I'm pvp'ing my ass off  on my lvl60 Gnome Rogue.  The new patch is coming out in 2 weeks or maybe 3 if i'm lucky, and I still need 2-3 ranks so I'm trying to skip rank 9 to get rank 10 next week which will guarantee me my full rare PVP armor set before the expansion, but rank 11 would be awesome because then I get really cheap level 60 mounts :) 4 epic mounts for 46 gold? thank you very much!

 

How about the K-man eh?  I don't approve of his racist comments he made on stage towards African Americans, but  I do believe that he made or is trying to make amends.  He was on Letterman with Jerry Seinfeld deeply expressing how sorry he is for his outburst, and said that he was filled with rage due to the heckling.  Michael Richards has never really appeared normal to me, that's why he played Kramer so well in Seinfeld, so I'm willing to accept that he lost control while on stage and said some things that he didn't mean, or that perhaps have been stuck in his mind since he was young.  He's over 50 now, and he was making comments about 50 years ago so perhaps his parents or some adult people he knew were very racist and he has images in his mind from them that he can't simply cleanse out. 

He did say on Letterman that he was trying to contact the main group of people that he offended and he actually went back in to the comedy club once he had calmed down to look for them but they had left already.  It's not like Michael Richards has been in the spotlight much anyway, maybe in LA he'd be a kind-of star, but apart from that nobody sees him on TV or anything anymore except for in Seinfeld repeats.

I did learn something new from all of that though, as I listened to the crowd and somebody called Kramer a "cracker".  I discovered the meaning behind the word "cracker", apparently it's what the African American slaves used to call the white people because they would whip them and it would make a "crack" noise when it hit.  I always just thought it was something someone made up and then it caught on.. Oh well =)

 

That's enough from me for now.. signing off, Chiefy 

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HOLIDAYS!

26th October 2006, 5:27pm
Yep, that's right suckers!  Apart from writing for Sliced and raiding 15 hours or so a week in World of Warcraft, my only other commitments are to getting drunk and enjoying summer with my girl :)

Had my first and last exam today (my other subjects had end of semester major assignments, exam equivallent), so now I'm freeeeee! ... until late February or early March anyway.

Anyway, Double Agent review is on its way.. Got a tad sidestepped for studying, but I have beaten the game so the review won't be lacking at all =)  It's got a lot of great things, but I'm not sure if I like it as much as the three before.  I feel it's a bit too cinematic, and the camera angle is all screwed with no adjustments possible.  I was searching to find the way I could zoom out like I can do in WoW with a simple scroll of the mouse scroller thing, but noooo...  Oh well.  I'm sure Ubi thought they knew what they were doing, but whatever it was they were hoping to achieve most likely isn't what Double Agent is.

LIK-SANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LIK-SANG!!!!!!!!  One of, if not, THE BEST importing websites on the internet, offering the best variety of third party accessories i've ever seen... I'm not even going to bother going into detail about its closure, but I am not happy with Sony.  Not happy at all.

Anyway, my girlfriend's here so I'm off!

Chiefy.
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Test Drive Limited

16th October 2006, 5:21pm
Nick said I'm overdue for a blog, I said I've got two major assignments due at university that are worth half my grades.  Hi, I'm David Latham, you may remember me from such blogs as my last one.

Lately I've been playing a bit... a LOT of Test Drive Unlimited and I am shocked at just how limited the game is.  OK, It's a massive game, the whole island of Oahu free to explore, mapped out road for road (I've checked Google Earth, it seems accurate!) but why can I only test drive cars for 2 minutes?  The game is called Test Drive UNLIMITED so if I want to test a car before I buy it, I should be able to take it out on the roads for an unlimited amount of time and crash into an unlimited amount of civilian and police cars, right?  Perhaps the game should be called Test Drive 2 minutes.

Another way the game is limited is that it doesn't have any really awesome jumps.  The island is mountaenous and jumps should be aplenty, but you can't really get any major air.  It does provide a true feel of realism on the roads though and allows you to look at other games and notice the unrealistic physics as they fly off of jumps at incredible heights taking no consideration to the weight of the vehicle, but most gamers don't care about all that. they want jumps!

Anyway, Can't wait for the next two months.  Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Call of Duty 3, Gears of War, Zelda Twilight Princess, Rainbow Six Vegas, WORLD OF WARCRAFT BURNING CRUSADE! god damn there's a lot of top games on their way out before christmas.  Expect a lot of writing from me too, if I ever stop playing that is.

Also, a Test Drive Unlimited review is on its way. expect that up soon!

Signing off,
The Chief.
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What does this button do?

30th September 2006, 10:04pm
So, a blog.

My girlfriend was asking me why I didn't write one of these so I thought I may as well =)

I've only just started writing for sliced, covering games that I find interesting at the moment. I just wrote a preview for Assassin's Creed, a game I've got my eye on. Can't wait for its release really. I'm a big fan of Ubisoft games and thankfully Double Agent is due out soon which should keep me entertained until Assassin's Creed.

Deep down though, like Julian, I am also a WoW player. In fact, most people would call me an addict. I don't believe in addictions, but I guess I play WoW enough to be classed an addict by psychologists. I don't have to play it if I don't want to though, and that's my definition of addiction. Still waiting on that Dragonstalker's Chest. My guild has downed Nef at least 10 times now. First time we killed him, it dropped. Hasn't dropped since. I was so sure it would drop today but instead we got Wrath and Bloodfang. Disappointed! Yes, I'm 7/8 if you were wondering. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, good for you. You don't play WoW. Don't buy it, it steals your life away! In fact, WoW is the reason I haven't written anything for a while. But slowly the gaming world is bringing me back with key titles like Assassin's Creed, Double Agent, Halo 3, Halo Wars, Zelda: Twilight Princess, and a few others I can't be bothered naming at the moment. Sure, The Burning Crusade will most likely pull me back in to the cave that is WoW, but it's all good fun, right? WRONG!!! LOL Sorry, I had to add that in. Anyway, that's news from me. Hope you've enjoyed the couple of news articles and first look preview I wrote this week. Master Chief signing out.
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