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Robert Bowling Resigns From Activision

March 26, 2012

Breaking news! Robert Bowling has just officially tweeted out that he’s no longer an Activision employee. What does this mean for the future of Robert Bowling and the future of the Call of Duty series? 

 

Rumours are Robert Bowling is heading to Respawn Entertainment. What do you guys think?

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https://twitter.com/#!/fourzerotwo

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FIFA 12 Wishlist

August 7, 2011

A new season in football is about to dawn. The summer transfers have been made, people have been sacked and FIFA 12 is just around the corner but has EA fixed everything that players have been crying about in FIFA 11 or have they introduced more pointless features and not fixed the core gameplay? Here is a wishlist of what some FIFA fans would like to see in the next FIFA season and hope this will be introduced in FIFA 12.

Fix the laggy menu for god sakes:

First off to enter a FIFA game it takes approximately 3-5 minutes. Why? Because we must wait for all the licensing screens, all the loading to take place and after all is set and done we have to deal with laggy menu’s through out our whole gaming time. Is it that difficult to create  a menu which doesn’t lag?

There he is, Wayne Rooney again!

Stupid commentary:

Sometimes the commentary can get ridiculous and become obscene. How can a commentator say after scoring a goal “and it’s out for a goal kick”? I mean seriously? Also the commentary becomes very repetitive and when the commentator says lines such as “this is the first time I’m going to tell you this”, don’t you think EA shouldn’t include lines like that in the script if the script is going to be heard a thousand of times when the game is being played? I’m sure many other FIFA players have come across more stupid points the commentators have made, so what are your experiences with them?

No handicap in Ultimate Team please:

Have you been saving up for your favourite and top players to make one of the most skilled teams in FIFA? Well don’t since in Ultimate Team higher rated teams will get handicapped against lower rated teams. It makes you think what’s the point of Ultimate Team when your ‘Ultimate Team’ plays like a….garbage team? You would think a strong defender such as Giorgio Chelleni would be able to defend and barge off an unknown and never heard of striker but not in Ultimate Team. So hopefully EA fixes this mess.

Please, please fix your servers EA:

You know millions of people around the world are playing matches and you have been in the gaming industry long enough EA to know or estimate the amount of traffic FIFA is drawing in. With the amount of money EA has made you would think they would make the servers more smooth but you’re constantly introduced to the message “You have been disconnected from the EA server”. What makes it worse is the message makes it sound as if it’s our fault that we have been disconnected. Waiting for the final 15 seconds to bid on a player in Ultimate Team? Well not only do you have to worry about the price the player will go up to or how many dogs are watching him but you have another thing to worry about, being disconnected from the EA servers. Also owning an opponent online 5-0 then being disconnected in the very last minute to basically lose the match. Nice sportsmanship EA.

Why is everyone facing towards the left?

Fast paced strikers being outpaced by slower paced defenders:

If there were turtles in FIFA, they would catch up to rabbits, that’s how ridiculous it is. Defenders that you dribble past and outpace for the first couple of steps can turn on nitrous and catch up to you like they’re an heir of Walcott. Defenders are strong yes, some defenders are fast but the turtle defenders, how the hell can they catch up to very fast paced strikers? This is something that will remain a mystery and we can only hope it’s fixed in FIFA 12. Defenders are stronger which is the reason they have the turtle shell, to barge strikers that are nearby off the ball but never has anyone seen a turtle catch up to a hare other than in a fairy tale story.

83% of the time players spend it in hospital rather than on the pitch:

Why was it so easy to get injured in FIFA 11? Also from what I’ve read and seen it seems like it will be even easier to get injured in FIFA 12! I mean this was one of the bigger complaints in last years installement that was pissing off numerous fans and the way EA has approached the problem is very unique by making it worse. Very interesting. Hopefully they approach it the opposite way I guess in FIFA 13.

Let us create or host a 32 player tournament:

Ever wanted to host a World Cup or a 32 playered tournament in FIFA 11? Well you can’t so hopefully we see this being introduced in FIFA 12 rather than a tournament that ends in a couple of matches.

Be able to straight swap players & smaller auction time frame:

In Ultimate Team I don’t want to put up one of my players to get trade offers of players I’ve never seen in my life or someone who thinks they’re lucky enough to offer a bronze player on Ronaldo and I will by mistake accept it. Hopefully EA will allow us this year to actually tell everyone below or anywhere around the card what player we’re looking for. This will allow us to create our team more efficiently. Also make the auction time frame shorter and allow it to go up in 15 minutes rather than 3 hours. So for example I put a player up for 15 minutes, go play a match and come back to find he’s sold. Very easy and everyone will be happier with more choices in how they have more control with the auction of their own player.

I think I'll just attack my own goal keeper

Make gold packs in Ultimate Team cheaper:

Currently in Ultimate Team to create your ultimate team, you will need sell your house and your wife and if you don’t have a wife your baby brother for that matter. Why are packs so expensive that you have to play numerous matches before you can actually buy one and cry afterwards seeing the highest rated player you got was a Russian you’ve never heard of? I understand EA wants to make money but seriously balance it out between EA making money and customer happy.

This needs its own section, so please for the help of god fix it:

You perform a short pass on the pitch for one of your midfielders to not run towards it & wait for it to come right to his feet but then the opponents defender sprints from behind and takes the ball away. Why can’t my players run towards the ball?

Don’t insert Wayne Rooney on the front cover:

Not such a big problem and I know already its been confirmed that he’s already on FIFA 12’s cover but what makes it a problem is when you start having more pictures of Wayne Rooney from FIFA than of your girlfriend.

There he is again!

Offsides:

Now this one is for the record books, why does the referee whistle offside when the ball becomes with the opponent’s player? You cannot play on because the referee is that smart! Please fix this EA, it isn’t like this in real life.

Why oh why?

So you cut in from the wings with your player and have past all your opponents defenders, now all there is left to do is shoot right? Wrong! You will have to hope your player doesn’t shoot with his wrong foot even if you have him on the right side of the pitch. Why do players sometimes shoot with their wrong foot when they’re perfectly capable of shooting with their correct foot goes beyond me.

Through ball pass stupidness:

So you see one of your players is about to make a run for it, you pass through the air a through ball but instead of your player continuing to run, he turns back and stands still. Why?

So that just about sums up a lot of the things that have happened in the past couple of FIFA installements and EA didn’t fix them but instead add new features rather than improving and refining some of its core gameplay and old modes. Hopefully a lot of what’s on this list has been fixed in FIFA 12. I have a press badge to visit the Eurogamer Expo that will be taking place next month. So I’ll update this blog letting you know how the game actually fairs compared to last year.

What sort of problems or what do you wish to be implemented in this years FIFA 12?

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Facebook Fan Page & Over 94,500 Views

July 29, 2011

Hey guys, as you all must have realised, I have added a Facebook ‘like’ button on the right in the navigation menu, please support me and like it only if you actually do like this blog and its content. I want to thank everyone that has been viewing this blog and allowed me to achieve over 94,500 views. Don’t be shy to drop any comments to ask me about anything gaming related or non-gaming related. Hope to start meeting more regulars and I hope to bring in more newcomers to the blog itself. Would like to engage with the community more frequently so hope anything I write in the future will bring in more discussion and people to do it with.

Thanks again everyone.

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

July 28, 2011

First off let’s begin by saying this is not a direct port over from the N64 version. This version of Ocarina of Time is packed with new features and visually is stunning to play in 3D. Nintendo have granted us a modern version of OCT and it’s by far the better version. Fans of the N64 version will not be disappointed.

In OCT 3D, nearly everything is an improvement over the original game. The graphics, animation, character models and the gameplay. The 3 dimensional graphics does add a whole new level to the stunning visuals this game has shown. Glittering dust floating in the Lost Woods to the starts in the cutscenes. You have to experience it to understand, it’s very impressive.

Some of the noticeable improvements over the original are features such as the maps becoming clearer, items can be equipped far more efficiently, and Navi is less annoying. Equipping items is less difficult this time with the touch screen. Also when aiming with your boomeranrg, bow & arrow and hookshot, you can either use the directional pad to aim at your desired location or use motion controls. I actually found the motion controls easier and more accurate to use than the directional controls.

The dungeons or locations haven’t changed although you would think so with the graphical upgrade. Also with the Iron Boots being less difficult to equip you can now embrace how easier the Water Temple has become or any other dungeon that requires equipping items for that matter. What I realised and remembered is this is one of the games that doesn’t hold your hand and instructs you on what you have to do in dungeons. The process is you enter a dungeon and it’s up to you to figure everything out. Many games have turned away from this forumla to allow more casual players to be introduced. This game does use a hint system but these are found in certain places. You will need to find Shiekah or gossip stones and that’s how you activate a hint in OCT 3D. The downside is sometimes you could get stuck and have no idea where you should go next because if you forget to perform even a small event it will stop you from proceeding on in the story.

Death is still the same, no checkpoint system has been introduced unless you trigger an event. If you die in a dungeon, it means you will need to start the whole dungeon over, this will leave players being more vigilant while journeying into dungeons. No autosave feature has been introduced either. Exploration is still the same with no fast travel, no teleportation, so if you want to travel to a certain location you will have to get there either by walking or by riding on a horse called Epona.

Extra easter eggs, and an all new Master Quest will definitely mean more replay value. Upon completing the game, you will have the option of journeying through Master Quest. This option will make your adventure much more difficult. The world will be mirrored, enemies stronger and items could be more difficult to find even if you have played the game numerous times before. Also another added bonus is you can replay all boss fights and if you’re looking for a challenge, you could face all the bosses in one gruesome fight and see how far you can survive.

My only problem with the game was the camera. The camera can be very annoying at times during battles or especially in boss battles, yet this game has many positives about it and it won’t take away from the games experience but it does get annoying when battling large enemies.

Ocarina of Time 3D is a welcome remake to the legendary series and it’s a very impressive title in itself. It’s as addicting, fun and memorable as it was back then but even better this time round.

9.5/10

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White Knight Chronicles II Review

July 28, 2011

If you’re a big fan of JRPG’s you would know they haven’t really lived up to expectations this generation. Compared to the amount of  how many were released during the last generation but when compared to this generations amount, you would easily realise that JRPG’s are on a downfall. So White Knight Chronicles II comes along exclusively to the PS3 but is it good enough to warrant a purchase? Let’s find out.

The story of WKCII is weak or just average. Nothing spectacular. You start off with a 40 minute introduction which drags on really because you don’t get a tutorial and seems like you’re dropped in the middle of the story not knowing what’s going on and with skill points to add to your characters. If you’ve never played a JRPG you will find this part of the game complicating because it doesn’t hold your hand and tell you everything that you need to know. Although you do get the first game on the same disc meaning if you’ve played the first or start with playing the first game you will understand most of the games mechanics. Mostly everything you need to find out will have to be done by yourself. Also each section is split into mini sections just like most JRPG games and at the end of it is a boss or that’s how you progress with the story, with a few branching paths that may lead to a treasure or just a different method to reach your destination. The game is linear to some degree, but not as much as say FFXIII.

The gameplay is what makes this game. It’s really fun to progress and make your character stronger by leveling them up, increasing their guild rank, learning new abilities and hunting for bounties. The game is packed with content, online and single player. Hundred of hours can be put into this game which is the reason why I needed a couple of weeks to write a review for this game, it’s really that big.

The battling itself is not exactly turn based but some what similar. You hit an enemy and wait for a circular bar to fill up until you can then proceed with another attack. You’re limited by what skills you can choose from depending on your level, mp and other character attributes. You have a number of quick access bars that you can choose from. With these you can attach your most used skills and abilities to access them more efficiently during battles. You control only one character during battle but can switch characters in case you want to use one of their skills at a specific moment during a fight. Also true to its name you can evidently transform to a White Knight right from the get go of the game, but the character you’ve created will not be able to transform right from the start. Only one of your allies will be able to.

Online in WKCII is much like a completely different game. You can journey with a friend/stranger together and complete quests together to increase your guild rank and make your character even stronger than before. Online is packed and I mean literally packed with hundreds of quests to complete and choose from. Unique items to purchase and other various features. I mean you can spend hours without even realising. It’s really fun to play with people online and while time flies you will realise it’s past your bedtime.

The games visuals are really great and you will spend most of your time in more natural looking locations rather than cities with the latest technology & skyscrapers. Games rarely tend to do this. Each town has numerous things to do and you can spend hours doing the sidequests in each town.

The voice acting itself isn’t anything spectacular but it does work but the music in the game is addicting and you will find yourself humming it even while not playing the game.

To fully experience this game, you need to play this game more than you would play a usual game. To summarise WKCII it has a lot sidequests, awesome online mode, great battling system and gameplay but a very weak story. So if you’re looking for a great JRPG to consume your time in until the next big JRPG then look no further because WKCII is one of the best JRPG’s to have been released this generation.

8/10

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inFAMOUS 2 Review

July 28, 2011

Sucker Punch’s Cole Mcgrath is back and while inFAMOUS was a new successful title that took everyone by surprise, the million dollar question is how does inFAMOUS 2 scale after 2 years? Is doing the same thing you did 2 years back still fun or has it become a repetitive chore for any player to play as a super hero?

inFAMOUS 2 takes us straight into the action where The Beast is already destroying Empire City. The story is still told through an animated style comic, which suits the mood of inFAMOUS 2. We were shown a vision of the future by Kessler in inFAMOUS. Cole tries battling with The Beast but to no avail your powers are too weak and they get drained so you become even weaker. You then set off to New Marais with a new assistant named Kuo, a girl who will have a major part to play later on in the game. Once you arrive at New Marais you must head to Dr.Wolfes lab and talk to him about getting your powers stronger enough to defeat The Beast before he reaches New Marais.

Gameplay was what made inFAMOUS very fun and engaging and inFAMOUS 2 makes it that much better, with new powers, faster Cole, better gliding and nearly everything has been improved other than Cole’s voice. inFAMOUS 2 still plays exactly like how inFAMOUS did but that isn’t exactly a bad thing. Change isn’t always good. Cole can unlock powers by either completing story missions, side missions or using his powers on enemies. What has been improved vastly over the original game is the melee. Cole at the beginning of the game is given a weapon called the AMP and I found myself using melee very often thanks to the nice slow motion effect as the weapon is used. It’s actually really fun to use after unlocking all the moves for it. Blast Shards are also back but aren’t anywhere as difficult as collecting in the previous game due to one of Cole’s new powers that can be unlocked later on in the game. New enemies which are more difficult than conduits have been introduced. Also the bosses in this game are huge when compared to the last.

You’re still given the ability to choose if you would like to play evil or good but this doesn’t exactly effect much in the story at all but only how civilians react towards you. Play evil and they will come and try to beat the living hell out of you on the streets but play as good and they actually do help and beat down on anyone that attacks you. Playing good or evil will give you karma based powers, with each karma having a different set of powered abilities, this boosts the games replay value and will want to make the player, play again to see the alternative ending and experience the different powers and different missions you can play.

The city of New Marais has more variety than Empire City. New Marais has a swamp and a flooded area which you will see Cole begin to dance if he steps into a shallow part of the landscape containing any sort of water. Also the amount of destruction that can happen on the screen at once is really impressive. Numerous explosions and enemies doing there own thing makes this game more action packed than the original.

Also Sucker Punch now allows players to create their own missions and upload them for players around the world to experience. These missions are shown on your map just like a story mission but will be coloured in green. Also there is a filter option to filter what sort of missions you would like to show up. Creating a mission is not simple but not easy either since there is basically no tutorial to help you through it step by step. So to create your perfect missions it will mean you will need to play around with the creation feature of the game.

inFAMOUS 2 is not perfect with the camera being sometime a hassle when in interior buildings and the game is yet to be challenging at all. Hard difficulty isn’t really hard and Cole still sticks on to ledges like super glue when you’re not trying to hold a ledge.

inFAMOUS 2 is a fun and engaging game to play. Completing everything will take you around 20 hours and that’s not counting the endless possibilities of playing the UGC missions players have created or you can spend countless hours creating your perfect mission. inFAMOUS 2 does everything and better than the original, with a lot of variety and replay value makes this title a must have for any PS3 owner.

9/10

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L.A Noire Review

July 28, 2011

Let me begin by saying L.A Noire is a very different experience from what everyone’s used to when it comes to games that are similar to the Grand Theft Auto series. This game doesn’t only enter unvisited territory but also does a good job at it. From shoot outs, to playing private eye or chasing people on foot and on wheels. L.A Noire has a lot going for it but is it enough for the people who aren’t used to this flavour of tea? One thing we can be sure is naked women, size 8 shoes and a hell of a lot morphine will be found in this adventure.

The game’s story is basically split into 3 to 4 stories which all conclude to the final boiling point on each desk. You  play as Cole Phelps, a war hero who has earned the Silver Star and returned home. As you progress through the game cases you will see vital flashbacks to what happened during the whole time Phelps was in the war, yet these flashbacks also tie into the story of certain cases you’re playing. There are 5 desks you will need to progress from starting at Patrol, Traffic, Homicide, Vice and then finally Arson. Each desks has different types of cases but most enjoyable for was the Homicide desk. The story was really interesting and very mind puzzling.

Let me get the negative’s out of the way and there is quite a few I would like to talk about.

The world of L.A Noire is set in the 1940’s in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is recreated from top to bottom, so the player can experience how life in the 1940’s was really lived. From Music, attires, vehicles, weapons and to the way characters communicate and speak. The world is filled with interior buildings to explore and it’s very rich in detail, although activity wise there’s nothing to actually do while free roaming. L.A Noire comes with 40 optional street crimes to complete yet each one takes 2-3 minutes, which is quite disappointing. Every crime scene has no challenge at all and seems like the developers were just forced to insert something ‘optional’ in the game because this game lacks a lot of optional (extra) things to do. After completing the game you’re free to revisit free roam mode but if you’ve collected all the film reels, newspapers which are all collected as you progress through the story, and done all 40 street crimes, then you will have nothing else to do in L.A Noire. Free roam gets boring and fast since you cannot shoot or wreck havoc and this makes free roam pointless. Other optional tasks such as driving every vehicle and finding all the famous L.A locations seem nothing but a chore. It’s just like finding collectibles but the only thing that differs is what the collectible are.

Also a few glitches occurred as I progressed through the game. One that didn’t allow me to continue through a case until I got caught. I was meant to tail a suspect on foot without letting them see me, but then the suspect stopped moving forward and I found myself just watching the suspect look left and right as if she was a child just beginning to learn how to cross the road. Once I got bored of the suspect being stubborn and not learning how to cross I got out of  Solid Snake’ s OctoCamo suit and the suspect instantly saw me. After restarting well let’s just say the suspect learnt how to cross the road this time round, phew. Another rather annoying feature was tight corridors. If your partner is behind you, you will have to fight your way back because your partner won’t budge unless you can teleport but I don’t think teleportation was invented yet in the 1940’s.

Phelps is enjoying the new design

Also after doing 10 hours of cases, the game begins to become repetitive, why? Maybe because you keep doing the same thing. You go over to a crime scene, find clues, note them down in your notebook, one of the clues would be another location which you would then need to visit and so on. Every case only differs in location, clues and suspects. You either end up chasing them and trust me every suspect just begins running and you would start to think to yourself after being promoted toVice wouldn’t Phelps learn that suspects won’t listen and just run each time? Every case differs in how you would deal with a suspect yet there isn’t much variety. You would either chase them by car or foot, or you would have to infiltrate their base of operation with a classic shoot out. Then after the dust has settled you would go over the clues you have found and interrogate the suspect before charging them with the arrest. After the case is closed a new one will begin and guess what? You will have to do all the above again.

Moving on to the good stuff, MotionScan. This technology allows the player to experience facial animation like never seen before and I have to admit, it’s really top notch. During interrogation after a witness or suspect answers a question, just by looking at them you could tell by their facial expression if they’re lieing or telling the truth. This is where L.A Noire shines and it’s one of my favourite features in the game because I haven’t experienced anything like it. Also this feature brings cinematic experience to video gaming that much closer, and each character animation has been acted out by a real actor to capture each glimpse and each hard gulp.

Twilight?

During an interrogation you will have your notebook and the list of questions you will be able to ask. Once the witness or suspect answers a question you have 3 options to select from, lie, doubt and truth. Once you’ve selected an option Phelps would either tick or cross the question you’ve asked depending on if you’ve selected the right choice. Although if you select lie then you will have to select from the list of clues you’ve found to prove that the suspect isn’t telling the truth. Get a question right and the suspect will open up allowing you to jot down more clues but get it wrong and no new clues for Phelps notebook. Although getting a question wrong will not end the game,  but will allow you to less understand the suspect’s motives and the story won’t be as clear.

Searching for clues I found is the most entertaining aspect of this game. You will enter a location and as you walk around your controller will vibrate allowing you to inspect that section more closer. Also each clue is very rich in detail from the text to the dripping blood.Once a new and relevant clue is found Phelps will jot it down in his notebook to be referred to later on in the case.

And we have a wise guy.

As you progress through the game, you will start to rack up points depending on how many questions you answered right or how many clues you found by the end of a case. This will allow you to rank up and sometimes you will unlock a new outfit or a new intuition point. An intuition point allows you while interrogating a person to either erase a wrong answer or if you have a social club account to ask the community which is the right answer. Basically like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s ask the crowd and 50/50.

Not only is the voice acting outstanding but so are the performance of the actors. This will allow you to immerse yourself more into the story and the music is very 1940’s making you feel that you’re currently living during that time.

L.A Noire succeeds in many areas but also has flaws. You either love it or hate it but L.A Noire succeeds in being a different type of game than what we’re used to. Although the game does have a slow paced story and gets repetitive but the game is enjoyable and it was entertaining. You can complete everything in the game in just over 20 hours. Free roam you cannot do much in which is a shame really because L.A Noire contains a very large free roam world for you to explore yet there is absolutely nothing to do in it. If you love action games with mix of noire, then you only have one choice but to check this baby out.

7/10