Games

360 warranties: credit where it's due

I do a fair amount of MS bashing on this blog, but I like to think it’s not rabid anti-corporatism but actually a valid commentary on what’s often wrong with the dominant software supplier. Most of the time. To reinforce this, I have to say ‘kudos’ to them over their recent actions with the 360 hardware failure rate. I’d thought about verbally tearing them a new one over it here in the past, but didn’t mostly because everyone else was already, and I didn’t feel I had an appropriately personal message to convey about it, not owning a 360 yet alone having a series of defective machines.

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We Love Katamari, we do

My journey into the PS2 back catalogue in search of fresh gaming experiences inevitably drew me to We Love Katamari, but it was surprisingly difficult to get hold of. I couldn’t find it in any regular shop obviously, and after waiting over a month with an online shop constantly promising that it’s back-order would take only ‘another week to ten days’ to fulfil I gave up and bought it on eBay, against my better judgement.

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Staring into Oblivion

Out of interest I started playing Oblivion last week. Marie bought it last year but never got into it, and I was far too busy at the time, so now, since I don’t have much else I feel like playing on the PC of late I thought I’d give it a crack. I was always a fan of a good single-player RPG in years gone by -  and that’s a lot of years ago, what today’s gamers might refer to reverently (we can hope - probably derisively in fact) as ‘The BeforeTime’.

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Rock Band suggested tracks

Seems that Harmonix is collecting suggestions for tracks to include in their upcoming Rock Band. The (4 track) submission page didn’t work for me, but for what it’s worth here’s what I suggested, which consisted of tracks picked rapidly from my iTunes collection that I thought would work well: Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who) Pumping on Your Stereo (Supergrass) You’re All I Have (Snow Patrol) Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen)

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I have so much to learn, sensei

As I’ve mentioned on this blog, I’m loving Guitar Hero 2 - it’s easily my most-played game at the moment, almost to the exclusion of all others (barring the occasional bout of Puzzle Quest and Trackmania). My favourite track at the moment is Monkey Wrench by the Foo Fighters - a great song anyway but really fun to play. I’ve been trying to get five gold stars (no mistakes) on it in Medium but haven’t quite managed it yet, I always seem to screw up one note or other.

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Is a PC the next generation of consoles?

I’ve been wondering about the ultimate future of consoles lately, following my conclusion that I don’t have a good reason to join the next-gen yet. Yes, consoles are still the pinnacle of mass-market consumer games but in this latest generation, some serious cracks have started to appear in the business model, in my view. It’s all to do with the costs and the direction in which the technology of the ‘living room device’  is going.

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Adventures in PS2land

So, I’ve been a PS2 owner for all of ten days or so, and what have I learned so far. Well, firstly it doesn’t look anywhere near as hideous on my widescreen TV as I expected. Even with no progressive scan it’s actually quite tolerable and I can’t say I’ve noticed particularly that I’m playing almost seven year old tech. That’s a good start; I expected to be wincing for at least a little while before the pattern recognition kicked in.

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Last Gen, here I come

The whole 360-or-PS3 dilemma continues, and whilst 360 is winning right now, given an inevitable price cut and an exclusives war around Christmas I really can’t decide which I want right now. Neither console has screamed ‘buy me’ loudly enough for a jaded tight-arse like me, and whilst both have games I sort of fancy (Motorstorm and Virtua Fighter 5 on PS3, Crackdown and Dead Rising on 360), neither have a system-seller for someone who feels he’s played a fair amount of what’s on offer before, admittedly in slightly less dapper clothes.

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You know you've got 7 million players when…

… you can partner with Visa to create a credit card specifically for your game. That’s what World of Warcraft has done now. Incredible.

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Taxonomy of my favoured gameplay elements

I’ve ranted discussed on this blog quite a few times about my gaming tastes and how most of the time I’m looking for new experiences, or at least experiences I haven’t had recently, more than the latest blockbuster audiovisual effects. There’s this rather nebulous thing called ‘gameplay’ which pretty much everyone agrees is the central key to enjoyment of a game, albeit subject to varying levels of mitigation by graphical or auditory spectacle, depending on your point of view.

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