Posts Tagged ‘video’

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.

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.

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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.

Are video games too violent?

 I was playing Modern Warfare 3 the other day in the presence of my girlfriend’s Dad. The violence of the online world was something very shocking to him, so much so, that I had to stop playing. It made me start thinking – what would people who have never seen a Call of Duty game in action think of it? I have been playing violent video games since the legendary Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64. Never have I ever thought to take my gaming persona into the real world. At the same time, I love playing these games because they allow me to do something I could never do in real life – kill someone. Now I’m not saying that I want to kill someone – I’m merely stating that it’s human interest to be fascinated in things unknown to us, like death, war, superhero powers, playing in the NBA, surviving a zombie apocalypse, saving Princess Zelda and being Solid Snake. This is why people love video games, they allow a normal person to do things they never could. However, over the years, the majority of gamers have invested their time in violent titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Battlefield. This blog will concentrate on two main aspects; if these games too violent and if these games are socially destructing to the person playing.

Violence

“F**k you edpenn!”

I am not a violent person, like all of my friends, like 95% of the people I meet online when playing Call of Duty or Battlefield. I won’t go and steal a car after playing Grand Theft Auto. Parents and people who have no knowledge of these games find it hard to form an opinion when all they see is 30 seconds of playtime. Their view? Why is my son smiling and laughing as he is shooting someone in the face? What have I done wrong as a parent?!
Nothing. The bottom line is that you have to already be severely messed up to take this games literally. Any normal person would not kill their mother after playing Grand Theft Auto (true story). It isn’t the violence in the games that brings about this sort of behaviour, it is the sheer insanity that already existed in the person. Also, any violent game today has a ‘mature rating’ similar to movies. With Call of Duty I believe it is 16. So if a kid is playing Cod- you can bet his parents bought it for him since he just enjoys video games and was a good boy in December. If an old teenager or adult is playing – then there is nothing to fear.
Just as with all paths of life, there will be dicks. Dicks that ruin your experiences and make the stereotype ever more easy to accept (are telling me your work place is full of genuine, down to earth people?!). This is no different in the online world. There will be people who constantly yell obscenities at you whilst you play, shouting they will find and kill you after you just said “hello” in a ‘posh’ accent. Believe me, after playing online games for 5 years now, I’ve met my fair share of these morons.

If you are worried that your son/daughter is one of these people, or that you yourself are one of these people – you should first judge what the person is like in other situations. I, along with all of my friends, sometimes get angry when we play violent video games, it’s human nature. When we aren’t playing the game, we don’t walk around acting rude to people, swearing as soon as something goes wrong or acting violently towards anyone. That is because we, like 90% of people playing are normal, level headed people with other things going on in our life.

Socially destructive

During my last two years of high school, I played Call of Duty almost every single night after school. I played into the early hours of the morning each weekend. I have no issue in saying – not much has changed since then.
In one year alone during the Modern Warfare 2 era, I figured out that on of my friends had spent 1 out of every 8 minutes playing MW2 (after you take away time spent at school and time sleeping). In 12 months he amassed over 1 month of playtime. Yes, it’s insane. But, like my friend, both of us led perfectly normal lives. We both attend great universities now. We both played a lot of school sport together and hung out with our friends a lot. I started playing in a ukulele orchestra. I went skateboarding with my brother a lot. I spent time with my family. I did all my school work.
Ask my father what he thinks of video games, he’ll probably roll his eyes and walk away from you. He probably thought I was wasting my life when I played my playstation. Honestly, I can understand why he did.
However, he had no idea of the memories that were made between me and all my friends when we played each night. The reactions I developed, how quickly I could make decisions in all aspects of life, the long lasting friendships that were made over a microphone.
For me, video games has become more than a casual hobby. I have a youtube channel and I blog regularly about all things gaming related. For my friends, they still play online with me now even though we have gone our separate ways to higher education. What has stayed the same? The fact that we are all progressing in life towards a bright future and the fact that we are growing into mature young adults. We still talk tactics when we play Cod and Battlefield, but we also talk about what we will do with our lives, why our degree’s are difficult and personal issues that we just want someone to listen to.
However, just as there are people making violent video games seem ‘violent’, there are people who also make video games appear to be socially destructive. Yes, there are people who do nothing but play video games and yes, that is unhealthy. As long as you have other things going on in your life then there is nothing to worry about. That ultimately is down to parenting and what interests your child has. If he/she is only interested in video games, then who’s fault is that?
If anything, this blog and how it covers video games, music, the environment and basketball should prove to my father that I am a well rounded adult (it definitely won’t though).

Video games are something that didn’t really exist in our parents generation. Just like modern technology (iPhones, the apple store, online shopping) it will be something that they struggle to understand.
However I must state that video games are a huge part of who I am and they have played a huge role in developing me into the person I am today. So next time, try not to be as judgemental.

Video games helped me get through depression, they helped me generate a large circle of very close friends, they helped to develop an incredible passion and they helped me to enjoy my life.

Video Game News! 28th June 2012 – New games, new endings.

Nuketown confirmed for Black Ops 2

An update from the popular Nuketown map in Black Ops will be included for free with pre-orders. “Nuketown 2025” is said to be ‘re-imagined for the future’. Does this mean the mannequins will be alive? Will the end-game nuke look futuristic and sparkly? There aren’t any real details except the actual conformation of the map. To be honest I don’t care about that, I’m just happy my favourite map is back for Black Ops 2. What’s that? It was your favourite too? Tell me something I don’t know.

Mass Effect 3 get’s a new ending

Released on June 26th, the new DLC “Extended cut” allows Mass Effect players to experience a different ending. I myself still plan to play through Mass Effect 3 so I still have no idea what happens at the end of the original game. All you need to know is that it drew plenty of criticism. Good news is that the additional ending is free and apparently “answers more questions and brings closure in a way that the original ending did not”. If you have played it through, did the new ending meet expectations?

Watch Dogs. The first ‘next-gen’ game?

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Is it possible for this gorgeous looking game to run on the current consoles?! The amount of detail going on in this one frame is simply absurd. Yes, we saw it in action at E3 and we are all excited for it’s release on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC during 2013. However, a lot could happen in the next 8-12 months. Do you think we could be playing this on the 720 and PS4?

Kaz Hirai steps down as Chairman of the Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Board

Kaz Hirai has moved away from Playstation. Before being appointed Sony CEO in April, Kaz Hirai had helped restore the company’s games division following a disastrous end to the reign of Ken Kutaragi. He has not left Sony though! His attention has merely shifted towards televisions, music and phones.

Metal Gear Solid 5 Confirmed

Solid Snake and Hideo Kojima aren’t finished yet. Hideo has said there will be more infiltration along with narrative trees to make the storyline more involving. He explained in an interview how he “loved the social interactions in Deus Ex: Human Revolution”. Solid Snake is confirmed to be part of the storyline which has no relevance to the new Metal Gear Rising game set to be released in 2013. Regardless, this news comes as a shock to Metal Gear fans after Metal Gear Solid 4 seemed to bring the series to an end.

That summer sun blinding you? You like video games? Then wear these.
Your pillow not making you dream about Princess Zelda? Then buy this.
Want to play your favourite games on the move? Then buy this.