Posts Tagged ‘game’

Video Game News : : Black Ops Two, Everywhere.

Black Ops 2 beats modern Warfare 3 sales

Wheelchair-Bound California Man Shot While Waiting in Line for "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2"

Black Ops 2 sold 7.2 million copies in 24 hours. Modern Warfare 3 reached a more modest figure of 6.5 million. Considering that $775 million was made in revenue during the first 5 days after MW3’s release, we can safely assume Black Ops 2 will surpass that.
Amazon recently stated that Black Ops 2 was the most pre-ordered game the site ever had……ok, OK, we get it Ed, this game is a big deal….still not convinced?
1 in 4 Black Ops 2 players called in sick on the release date. In a survey of 10,000 on ign.com, 1 in 4 players claimed they would skip work or school in order to get an entire days (proper) work done.

Man shot in queue during midnight launch

At around 1 am during the biggest midnight release of any video game, ever, a man was shot. He was a 20 year old male in a wheelchair. This occurred in Korea-town, California, in the middle of hundreds of people. The most shocking thing? They still haven’t caught the suspect….even though there must have been more eye-witnesses than you can kill with your new attack dogs score-streak. Supposedly, police are merely waiting for someone to come forward with any evidence. The 20 year old was shot in his abdomen and is recovering.
It’s lunatics like this that give video games a bad name. If you’re interested in the whole “violence in video games” topic, I will shamelessly self promote an old blog I wrote that goes into heavy detail on this subject.

Black Ops 2 PC surprise

The PC version was released on two discs, one online, one offline. Turns out that when customers went to install the second disc, they were actually installing Mass Effect Two. Each disc was correctly manufactured to look like the correct Black Ops disc….however, instead of loading the multiplayer, they all received a Mass Effect Two error. The funniest part? EA and Activision are massive competitors. This will be as close as they get to releasing a game together for the rest of the world……have we found our silver lining? World peace amongst video game companies?! OMG!


(Epic side note) Assassin’s Creed/Splinter Cell movies move closer to a release date"Splinter Cell" Movie One Step Closer to Being a Real Thing, Tom Hardy to Star as Sam FisherI wrote about the possibility of these two films being produced during the early summertime. Never in a million years did I think these movies would be made. Ubisoft Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Geoffroy Sardin announced that he hoped the Assassin’s Creed movie (starring Michael Fassbender) will hopefully be in theatres by the end of 2013! Ubisoft must have high hopes for the film industry considering Bane (Batman villain, Tom Hardy) has agreed to play the role of Sam Fisher in the Splinter Cell movie.
What’s your view on video game films? I doubt any of you would refuse a Zelda OOT movie? Goodness, I’ve attempted a joke there but now can only dream of what that would be like…..until then I’ll take solace with my Zelda text tone.

I leave you with

10 hilarious Black Ops 2 launch pictures.
The latest Black Ops 2 rap song that you HAVE to hear (Brysi).
5 outrageous custom classes for all your trolling needs.

Video Game News : : Metal Gear Mobile and Activision Succeed?!

Favela removed from MW2 due to offensive imagery

One of the fan favourite maps from Modern Warfare Two has been removed from the multiplayer rotation. ‘  Favela’ is a map set in the slums of Brazil. It showcases fast paced gameplay on multiple levels, an ideal Call of Duty map.

Two in-game paintings featuring a representation of a quote attributed to the Prophet Muhammad were hung in a bathroom, something that can be offensive to those of Islamic faith. Activision tried to worm their way out by saying,

 “We apologise to anyone who found this image offensive. Please be assured we were unaware of this issue and that there was no intent to offend. We are working as quickly as possible to remove this image and any other similar ones we may find from our various game libraries.”

     Oh so it was a mistake? I assume that whole ‘No Russian’ level also turned out a bit more extreme than you originally planned? (I’m obviously joking everyone…)

“Activision and our development studios are respectful of diverse cultures and religious beliefs, and sensitive to concerns raised by its loyal game players. We thank our fans for bringing this to our attention.”

      You know what I’m respectful of? Soap bloody Mactavish. Yup, I still haven’t forgiven you for (SPOILER) killing him Activision.


   In all seriousness it is rather impressive at the speed in which is matter was dealt with. After the whole No Russian fiasco I’m sure this is the last thing Activision wanted. Given the game is now almost 3 years old, I doubt this news was even on most UAV’s out there.

 Metal Gear Solid on iPhone

     With all MGS talk related to the upcoming open world game (you don’t know what I’m talking about?!) it has been relatively easy to miss the new iPhone game, ‘MGS Social Ops’. Watch footage online and you’ll realise it’s a blend of Peace Walker and MGAcid, that horrible card based MGS game. Still, most people who have spent hands on time with the game have expressed nothing but positivity.

Metal Gear Solid has always had a silly sense of humor buried under the layers of serious storytelling, but it looks like Social Ops is going to crank that up to 11. There’s one scene in the demo where three or four guards all cram their way inside the same cardboard box, then the box starts shaking around for a bit and explodes into dust. Amazing.”

The game brings together characters from all eras of MGS. Old Snake and Big Boss are finally working together. Let’s just hope MGS2 Raiden didn’t get the memo….

The iPhone has already been lucky enough to make Snake’s acquaintance. A game that played similarly to Time Crisis that took you through different stages from the MGS4 storyline. This was a huge success so you can bet this new project will be just as popular.

FIFA 13 on PS Vita : : Don’t waste your money

     With no changes from FIFA Football (2012), EA should be immensely disappointed with themselves. Make no mistake, it is a great game, maybe the most impressive on the Vita at the moment. I would however advice you to save £25 and pick up last years copy of FIFA.

      Seeing as there is only one difference between FIFA Football and FIFA 13 we may a well address that first. There are new kits. There are new players. There is……nothing else. If you are desperate to have a Manchester United frontline of Rooney and Van Persie then just make this adjustment manually on the old game. There is not a single new animation, no new celebrations, no new game modes, no new menu layou….oh wait! The menu select icon now has sharp corners compared to round ovals found in FIFA Football. To be honest, I was shocked when there was no mention of this on the back of the game casing,

               “Select the same game options with total control. Thanks to the new ‘sharp cornered’ outline around your cursor, you can really control the menus.”

       Imagine my bemusement when I didn’t even find any reviews that spoke of this incredible new feature. FIFA Football often left me in tears when I couldn’t tell if I had pressed X on ‘Career Mode’ or ‘Quick Match’. I couldn’t sleep at night. Now that you can be 100% sure of what you are choosing, it’s made me feel quite happy that I forked out £45 for the game…

It really is quite worrying how an international game company like EA can feel ok with releasing an exact replica of an old game and still expect consumers to pay premium prices. If you think I’m being unfair, please comment below and tell me why this game is worth £45.

Now, this does not mean I don’t enjoy the game. I played the old FIFA Football religiously, raving to anyone that would listen about how identical the game was to FIFA 11 on console. HD graphics, dual analogue sticks, replica animations and frame rates to that on console. Portable gaming had finally pulled off the impossible, they had effectively ported a console game to a portable device. My frustration merely forms out of a hatred for EA’s laziness.

FIFA 13 is a fantastic video game for the PS Vita when you look at it alone. It really does feel like a console game that you can carry in your pocket. The virtual pro career mode gives you plenty of playtime, not to mention the online head to head modes. The problem is how all of these positives can also be said of the old game, FIFA Football. So if you don’t have either game, just pick up the old FIFA Football, manually change the team rosters and save yourself £20. Or, if you already have FIFA Football, just start a new virtual pro career in a different position.

Trust me, FIFA 13 is not the worth the money and EA does not deserve the money.

I Am Alive : : Don’t wait for The Last Of Us

I Am Alive is probably a game that you won’t ever play. The next 5 minutes will hopefully convince you otherwise. The simplicity of the game is what makes it such fun to play. For £8 you’re getting a single player experience that easily rivals that of the £40 titles out there at the moment. It’s certainly been the most enjoyable single player I have played in 2012. So what exactly makes it such a joy to play? Why should you not just wait for The Last Of Us? 

The opening hour is more or less of a climbing tutorial. In I Am Alive you have a stamina bar that slowly decreases as you traverse the terrain in front of you. Therefore, if you are acting like Nathan Drake for too long, then you’ll eventually fall. This makes the climbing sequences not only exciting but also challenging. Figuring out what path to take across (the George Washington?) bridge will act as a lovely tutorial for this.

These climbing sequences usually space out the main events of the story which see you meeting many people. Some need your help, some can help you but most just want to kill and loot your body. This part of I Am Alive is where the game comes into its own. You usually want to help those in need after you experience how difficult it is to stay alive (especially in the harder difficulties).

Every meeting with hostile civilians is dealt with differently than in previous encounters. That said, there is only ever one solution towards coming out alive after each encounter. These meetings with people pop up at a brilliant pace, you’re not waiting long between meetings but you’re waiting long enough to enjoy the other aspects of the game like climbing, scavenging and exploring. The variety between who you come across is also very refreshing.

It’s been a very long time that I’ve played a video game that had me thinking about what will happen even when I am not playing it. Most nights I often found myself thinking about how this man would find his family, which parts of the map I hadn’t explored and what I needed to scavenge for as soon as I resumed playing. It was nice to be so passionate about a single player game since I played the Uncharted series.

Scavenging is another part of I Am Alive that the producers seemed to have pulled off brilliantly. Your character starts off with nothing. Everything from water to camera batteries to first aid must be found. The rare items like bullets and adrenaline shots are usually found in hard to reach places. They often require the player either helping out a person in need or exploring a part of the map that does not tie in with the story line. That said, it is worth your time to go this extra mile. You see, an empty gun is handy to keep away people with a machete. But should you raise your gun towards someone who also has a gun, then expect to die, quickly. Should you find yourself cornered by three enemies, you should shoot and kill the one person with a gun first and then aim your gun menacingly at his two friends that only have knives. They don’t know you just ran out of ammo and they sure ain’t going to call your bluff. Usually, you won’t ever have more than 1 or 2 bullets. Heck, most of the time you won’t have any. I vividly remember the time I managed to scavenge 5 bullets in the space of 15 minutes, I couldn’t stop screaming “5 F**KING BULLETS?!” The amount of power I had was silly. Like a school boy I ran into my next engagement as 4 men slowly cornered me. They were joking with one another about how I probably had nothing for them to loot and how my body would keep their fire warm that night. 3 seconds later they were all dead and I only had one bullet left. The regret seeped into me immediately….

The game later brings in other elements, like a bow and arrow in which you can pickup your arrow again after each use. This means you have unlimited ammo in one way, but can only use it effectively once per engagement. This brought a new element to the game as there were now numerous ways to deal with hostiles. Not only did I have my machete for close engagements but now I had 2 bullets and my bow and arrow?! Before the excitement got too much, I realised that now there was usually an extra person in each group of enemies and a couple of extra guns between them. This made each encounter much more difficult. Yet I must commend the game, the pacing is superb along with the increased difficulty as the game progresses.

I Am Alive is a game that far exceeded my expectations. When a game is only available on the PSN store for £8 you probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid. However, I Am Alive could be the most under-rated game of the last 5 years. Many people will unfortunately miss out on this experience due to its lack of coverage along with the release of The Last Of Us just around the corner. However, you will not be disappointed. It was, without a doubt, the best £8 I ever spent.

The Beauty of PC Gaming.

Recently, I downloaded steam on my MacBook and took the plunge into PC gaming. After a long and tortuous night of installing Windows 7 to allow for greater gaming access, I was ready to join the ‘pro-gamers’ that people had only warned me about.
It’s no secret that PC gamers are more competitive. However, this competitive attitude does not turn them into screaming hooligans. It, dare I say, brings out the best in people. Especially those people with a mouse and keyboard in their hand, rather than a wireless dualshock.
You can watch any gaming YouTube video and it wouldn’t be long until you found a console vs PC comment war. It was never something I took much notice to due to my lack of PC experience. Give any console gamer 1 hour on Counterstrike Source and he will suddenly realise what he’s been missing his whole life and why consoles will never match up to PC’s.

The game library itself is far more extensive for PC’s, an obvious thing to say but it must be said all the same. Not only that, but graphics suddenly become less important. My 2009 MacBook is hardly capable of running Slender. As long as there is a smooth frame-rate, I have been consistently having much more fun playing these games compared to the blockbuster console titles; Modern Warfare 3, Fifa 12, Mass Effect, Max Payne.

You see, the PC really comes into it’s own when you turn on your microphone and start listening to other players. It wouldn’t take you long to hear a “F**K YOU” whilst playing online on Xbox, or PS3. Yet I managed to play 2 hours worth of Counterstrike and 2 hours worth of Hidden: Source without anyone screaming at me. More than that, these people were pleasant. PC gaming is incredibly difficult to pick up. Having a keyboard with 60 buttons rather than a dualshock with 8 is incredibly daunting at first. I was hesitant to ask the ‘pro-gamers’ which button I should press to open a door in fear of being sworn at. However, it just doesn’t happen. Everyone is happy to welcome new players, help them out and ensure they are enjoying themselves. Once I picked up the controls more, real conversation ensued. Suddenly, I was talking to a Polish man about how long he has been gaming for and why he started.

top_3.jpg

I haven’t ever had a conversation like that in my 5 years of playing online the Playstation 3. With dedicated servers and a more precise aiming tool (your mouse) there is much less room for you to be made angry. The games are more simple and so more fun.

I haven’t had this much fun playing online games for a very long time. So I plead for you all to try PC gaming. Don’t get me wrong, if you are one of those obnoxious COD players then we clearly don’t want you. But anyone that is just looking for a new experience or is simply tired of getting called a ‘F*****G TW**”, then download steam and download an old school fps. They’re cheap and they really don’t need a great laptop to run them smoothly.

I leave you with the video that kick started my new found love.

Video Game Euphoria.

You often hear people talk of their amazing experiences. Whether this is in front of a crowd, as they jump out a plane or when they see there sports team win the championship. These are easy to understand because all of us, at some stage, have experienced that magical feeling. That feeling that makes you scared to live the rest of your life out of fear that you will never reach those magical heights again. This feeling comes in all sorts of forms. However, one of those is greatly overlooked. This is the 3rd blog post I’ve written after experiencing such euphoria from a video game (see here for what Call of Duty’s single player did to me).

I write this just one hour after the most incredible FIFA victory I’ve ever seen or taken part in. Now stay with me, before you judge, because it was utter insanity.

The night began with pizza, beer, (real) football and a complete oblivious nature as to what was about to unfold. We set ourselves the task of beating Germany with England on Legendary difficulty in FIFA 12. This would be the perfect climax to the video game football world with the release of FIFA 13 just around the corner. We would proudly be able to say “yeah, we beat FIFA…..on Legendary.” After 3 hours of trying we soon realised the task ahead was not for the faint of heart.

It took us an hour alone just to score a solitary goal, but a tremendous goal at that. Rooney, from the centre circle, threaded a perfectly weighted through ball towards the ‘gassed’ Theo Walcott down the left wing. Rooney continued his gut-busting run all the way to the edge of the area, overtaking two German defenders before Theo eloquently rolled the ball towards the bulldozing Rooney.

Manual Neuer never stood a chance.

   The goal was met with raucous cheers that were loud enough to wake the neighbours. We weren’t even dis-heartened by the final score line of 4-1. We had scored. Against the Germans. On Legendary. It was possible. Suddenly, seeming like we were in a Nike “impossible is nothing” advert, we clicked the restart match button. Our index fingers filled with nothing but optimism and faith.

Another hour went by and we got closer. Scoring became a more regular occurrence. The main difficulty (my friend George and I agreed) was that as soon as we managed to score, the computer would seemingly crush our gleeful faces by upping the difficulty from Legendary to ‘COMPUTER SAYS NO’. The number of times that we conceded minutes after scoring…I don’t like to think about it. Still, we could score, and we had experienced times of up to 60 (FIFA) minutes where we kept the Germans at bay.

Memories of playing through the D-Day mission on Medal Of Honour and Call of Duty began flooding back to me. The Germans had to be stopped.

The clock struck 11:27 pm. We hit the restart button for what would be the last time.
The first 45 minutes was uneventful. A chess game. Teasing runs that made sure not to commit too many men forward for fear of the German merciless counter-attack.
Within 5 minutes of the 2nd half commencing, Ashley Young was hacked down in the area by Per Mertesacker. The kind of challenge that only a slow, lumpy oaf like Per would make. Ashley tumbled to the ground before we heard the referee’s whistle stay silent. We could barely contain the anger. We were stuck in the pause menu for 10 minutes, trying to steady our emotions after it seemed this game was doing everything in its power not to let us win.

   Then just 2 minutes later, Walcott steamed into the penalty area off a counter attack and lobbed the ball up deliciously into the bath of an incoming Ashley Young. He was out for revenge. He leapt high up above Per and headed the ball towards goal from 2 yards out, a certain goal, a certain 1-0 lead…..to our disbelief Neuer clawed the ball over the bar. The agony wasn’t over yet. From the following corner, Lampard swung the ball into the near post where Ferdinand met the ball, winning England’s 4th header in as many hours, before directing it towards the bottom corner. We began to rise in anticipation of this long awaited goal before we saw the ball cannon off the post and out. More screaming ensued. There was no way to win, it wasn’t in the algorithm of the game. Another two minutes went by and these fears were crystallised as Klose headed the ball into the England net after what was incredibly uneventful and boring build up play.

We were 1-0 down at 55 minutes. Our belief in being able to win was gone. We both knew that come the final whistle it would all be over, for good.

But it wasn’t over.

10 minutes later, Per handled the ball in his own area to keep the ball away from Rooney.  A certain penalty, there was no way the referee could worm his way out this way. George handed me the controller in complete fear he would miss. Lampard stepped up and blasted the ball into the top right corner. 1-1. GAME ON.

At the 76 minute mark, Rooney (who has been our shining star all evening) received the ball with his back to goal about 20 yards out. He leant one way before swivelling the other, leaving Per for dead. Shrugging off the incoming Schweinsteiger, he rocketed the ball into the bottom left corner. A typical Rooney goal that displayed his strength and power. We were 2-1 up and we could hardly contain ourselves. Just 10 minutes away from beating FIFA 12 we became petrified as soon as the German team took possession in fear of the computer suddenly upping their difficulty level again. People say the Shining is a scary film and that Slender is a scary video game. I however have never been more scared than when Phillip Lahm has been running straight at me.

We held out until the 90th minute before Klose somehow found himself 3 yards out. Joe Hart came to our rescue for the 89th time that evening. The ball was cleared and the final whistle was blown. 

The following 25 minutes, we sat dumbstruck. Re-watching highlights and absorbing every possible lick of information available from the match facts page. We knew that we had both experienced something we would one day tell our Grandkids. Stop laughing, I’m serious.

You can list this as #39 in the “Reasons why Video Games are the Best Thing to Happen to the World Since Sliced Bread”.

Bring on FIFA 13.

Environmental News! USA ruining everything : 19th July 2012

USA – One of the least environmentally sustainable countries, in the world.

The following is from the introduction of the National Geographic Greendex 2012 article, “consumers in the large developing economies of Brazil, India and China have scored highest, while Canadians and Americans, with their relatively massive environmental footprints as individuals, have scored lowest.”
This greendex survey ranks countries around the world in terms of how environmentally sustainable they are. One thing you can be sure of is how the USA will still be delighted that they are more sustainable than Canada, “USA! USA! USA!”.
Not only that, but further studies from National Geographic have shown that the USA don’t even care about this, “only germans feel less guilty about their environmental inaction”. 

54% of USA is in drought. $50 billion to fix it. 

North America is currently experiencing the worst drought since the 1950’s. For the second month in a row, temperatures have reached record highs. This drought is not only causing death among humans (48 dead in 7 days in Washington DC) but is also causing problems for agriculture. Corn output had dropped rapidly, 7% in the last week. Recent wildfires in states such as Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming have displaced thousands of cows from federal rangelands which may not be fit for grazing for years.
With the price in food sure to rise over the next year Michael Swanson, agricultural economist at the largest commercial agriculture lender said, “It might be a $50 billion event for the economy as it blends into everything over the next four quarters.”

Thousands of baby leatherback turtles die in Trinidad.

leatherback-turtle-massacre

Heavy machinery have crushed thousands of baby turtles along the most dense nesting area for the leatherback turtle. Government work crews with bulldozers were redirecting the Grand Riviere, a river that was threatening a hotel where tourists from around the globe watch the huge endangered turtles lay their eggs. Conservationists who track the turtles said that the workers dug a large portion of the sand that did not effect the river.
Sherwin Reyz, a member of the Grand Riviere Environmental Organisation, estimated that as many as 20,000 eggs were crushed or consumed by the scores of vultures that descended upon the food that was now open to them.
“They had a very good meal. I was near tears,” said Reyz, who helped save hundreds of uninjured hatchlings dredged up by the heavy machinery. “It was a disgusting mess.”

Video game ‘Xeko’ raises awareness of endangered species.

Digital Game Xeko Raises Endangered Species Awareness Online

Winner of Creative Toy Game of the Year, Xeko is a collectable card game available on phones and social gaming consoles.
Donors, known as Xeko Backer Agents, can contribute the campaign in amounts that represent the need for action and awareness: $30 symbolizes that 30% of amphibian species are threatened, pledging $1300 denotes that less than 1,300 Bengal Tigers are known to exist.
To donate, click here.
Instead of imaginary creatures, Xeko cards feature real-world endangered animals from different conservation hotspots. This creates awareness and appreciation for these creatures and their homes.

Exchange trash for food. 

Residents of Mexico City are embracing a creative recycling program that is turning trash into food.

It could be the best deal, ever. A growing number of cities in Central and South America are offering ‘delicious recycling’.  Jundiai is a city in Brazil that has been offering this for 10 years. When residents bring in recyclables, they get vegetables from a local, public garden.
Mexico City have also adopted this idea by handing out fresh lettuce, pears, flowers, plants, tomatoes and cucumbers to people who hand in their recycling. In March of this year, the city handed out 3 tonnes of food.
This is genius way to motivate those people that need motivation to look after the planet. Whilst it’s a shame that people expect something in return, it seems like this idea can work.

I leave you with,
9 reasons to plant a tree
Incredible photos of the underground storm water system in Japan