Doodle Review: Crackdown 2

July 13th, 2010 Strident Posted in *Reviews | 3 Comments »

doodlereview-crackdown2-small

Tags:

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Doodle Review: Red Dead Redemption

June 24th, 2010 Strident Posted in *Reviews | 1 Comment »

doodlereview-reddeadredemption-small

Tags:

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Doodle Review: Alpha Protocol

June 13th, 2010 Strident Posted in *Reviews | No Comments »

doodlereview-alphaprotocol-small

Tags:

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

TGS Replay: Dead Rising

June 2nd, 2010 Strident Posted in Podcasts | No Comments »

I was fortunate to guest on the latest TGS Replay alongside Xantiriad, NokkonWud and JohnusMaximus where we discussed Capcom’s zombie-slaying adventure Dead Rising.

Click here to listen to the Replay show.

We also took time to revisit Sensible World of Soccerand look back at some of the video gaming highlights of 2004.

I’d had several aborted attempts at playing Dead Rising before, as I picked it up a few years ago when I bought my first 360. Each time I was thwarted by what I thought was a pretty daft save system.

I kept on re-rolling my character and trying again but each attempt followed the same pattern. I’d get to a point pretty early on in the story where I’d either die helping Brad fight the boss in the food court or I’d complete that section and then die before I got back to a save point. The convicts riding round in their machine gun equipped jeep were responsible for an annoying amount of deaths. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

TGS Replay: The Orange Box

February 28th, 2010 Strident Posted in Podcasts | No Comments »

This month on TGS Replay Xantiriad and I took a look back at Valve’s bargain gaming bucket, The Orange Box.

Click here to listen to the Replay show.

We also took a quick look through some of the games released in 2001 and went through the nominations for March’s Replay (Rainbow Six Vegas, Bully and The Club)

If you’d like to get involved in TGS Replay next month then pop along to The Gamer Scene Forums.

Tags: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

TGS Replay: Mass Effect

January 31st, 2010 Strident Posted in Podcasts | No Comments »

I was recently a guest on the January edition of the  TGS Replay show together with  Dits, Major Lag, Leg of Time, James Batchelor, Ostemb0r and  Xantiriad. We spent almost two hours discussing the strengths and weaknesses of Bioware’s  Mass Effect.

Click here to listen to the Replay show.

We also find time to share our gaming highlights of the year 2000 and make the nominations for February’s game of the month.

My game of 2000 was Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. A strange choice, perhaps, considering the other possible contenders but it’s a game I look back fondly on as being both a decent first person shooter and also a effective (and different) use of the Star Trek license. My nomination for February’s Replay game was Overlord. I don’t think it’s got much of a chance this time round.

If you’d like to get involved in TGS Replay next month then pop along to The Gamer Scene Forums.

Tags: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Give Band Hero A Break

December 18th, 2009 Strident Posted in Comments & Thoughts | No Comments »

band_hero
What is it with all the whinging about Band Hero? Why bother with such displays of rock snobbery? Anthrax fans don’t waste their time whining about the music of Michael Bublé. Do they? So why is Band Hero getting so much flack?

To me it seems that complaining about Activision producing Band Hero is a bit like complaining about Walkers making Cheese & Onion crisps because you only like Ready Salted. Or it’s like complaining about Ferrari making cars in yellow because you think they only look good in red. The fact is that if you’re moaning about Band Hero then it’s probably because it’s not aimed at you. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Confessions of an Achievomaniac (Part Two)

September 19th, 2009 Strident Posted in Comments & Thoughts | No Comments »

The Game Within The Game

Microsoft may have popularised in-game achievements but reward badges, both in single titles and across multiple games, have been around for ages. My first proper full-blown obsession with a reward system was in the game City of Heroes.

City of Heroes is a superhero-themed Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game that launched back in April 2004. Its badge system arrived several months later as part of the second free update of the game. It was a seemingly minor inclusion at the time, alongside the more headline grabbing embellishments such as power re-specification, the much requested inclusion of capes and two brand new game zones, but the reward system was arguably one of the most important additions ever made to the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags:

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Open World Storytelling

September 14th, 2009 Strident Posted in Comments & Thoughts | 1 Comment »

open_world
I don’t know how important a role in gaming history the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 will ultimately play but it seems to me that we will look back on this as being the open world generation. This style of game may have been introduced to the mainstream in the days of the PS2 but it’s become incredibly popular during the current console cycle.

Games like Crackdown, Assassin’s Creed, Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Faction: Guerrilla have all featured large, expansive playgrounds as have RPGs like Oblivion and Fallout 3. Titles such as inFamous, Prototype and the outings of more traditional characters like Spider-Man and The Hulk have been set in sandbox environments to more effectively showcase the super-powered abilities of their protagonists.

The developers of these games have tried to create worlds without walls. Of course virtually all game spaces are finite; there are always some obstacles or boundaries that prevent you from falling outside the game world into the abyss. Open world games, though, try to give the player realms so vast, so detailed and realistic that they forget they are inside a digital cage.

But the bigger the developers make the worlds, the emptier they can potentially feel, particularly from a narrative point of view. Open world games bring a whole host of problems when it comes to storytelling. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Confessions of an Achievomaniac (Part One)

August 29th, 2009 Strident Posted in Comments & Thoughts | 2 Comments »

sc_badges1b

My name is Strident and I’m a badgeaholic. An achieveomaniac. A trophy junkie. Whatever you want to call me, I am obsessed with reward systems in games.

I wasn’t always the same. In the old days, in the time before achievements and trophies, I could quite happily play games just for sheer pleasure alone. Now I’m older, my time seems more precious and those on-screen notifications of each new accomplishment allow me to kid myself that I’m doing something productive when I’m gaming; even though those points and trophies have no real-life value. So why do gamers get so obsessed with accumulating virtual rewards? Systems, like Microsoft’s Achievements, speak to the inner collector in many of us, prodding our hunter-gatherer instincts into life.

As a child you spend your time being constantly rewarded, or at least being asked to seek rewards from society. Good behaviour earns stickers and treats. Outstanding or landmark performances bring certificates and awards. Whole organisations, like the Scouts, are based around completing specific targets in order to work towards badges. After just a few years of life you quickly amass a collection of paper, cloth and cardboard that forms a physical representation of your accomplishments. Read the rest of this entry »

AddThis Social Bookmark Button