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News for the ‘game reviews’ Category

New WoW ‘free trial’ So Restricted It May Doom New Sales @blizzardcs

(Addendum: If you’re a Blizzard customer service rep reading this, as I’m unsure if you guys DO read public relations issues like you should given that you’re a faceless American corporation where consumer rights are considered a mamby pamby thought experiment like communism, I wish to inform you my reader demographic broke 9 million yesterday, with 100k cascading viewers across all social networks. Keep this in mind when realising what a PR kick to the balls this issue is from my keyboard to my viewers eyes alone. So seriously, pick your fucking game up guys.)

Below is an article from Fairfax outlining the changes to WoW’s 14 day free trial becoming unlimited. I was chatting to a journalist about it, when we discovered the restrictions on accounts was … well, patently absurd.

The 14 day free trial restrictions were moronic, as you REALLY couldn’t experience anything that most of us consider main reasons to play as it was.

The new system, while it sounds good (unlimited free play) has the most absurd restrictions I’ve ever imagined could be imposed. You can’t even /tell, or participate in general chat, or /say apparently. You can’t join a guild, or parties unless they’re lowbier than you. You can’t do much of anything.

The reason this is so bothersome I’m posting about it is, WoW needs new blood. EVERY expansion their membership growth rate has HALVED, and player retention is unspectacular.

I run an extremely large guild (follow us @malleusvindicta or take a peek at our website and ask for an add if you play on US-Moon Guard), I’m an objective play by numbers kind of guy. I’ve seen more people leave the game of age and lifestyle enough to fund ongoing play than join which means one eternal thing.

Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is bleeding both cash and players.

What does this mean to players? It likely means they’ll find ways to make the game more of a grind, so everything takes longer. They’ll likely break a demographic class beyond repair for a few months causing you to rage and roll a new character (ie: hunters broken during every expansion to date, druids … well, always crap) to escape the horrors.

As it is you grind to end game, grind all your faction rep up, grab that gear to grind a charity tier, use that to grind a full tier, then bam, new tier, grind grind grind grind bloody grind. It’s like a twisted Skinner box experiment without cheese as a reward.

My recommendation to Blizzard is, pick up your game, let them experience WoW properly, perhaps limit trading and partying with people too high a level above. For the instigating article, read below.

Ps: It’d be nice if you allowed us to PURCHASE level 85 status with in game stuff or even bloody cash, I don’t have the time to level a new 85 every time you ruin my classes in question, and you can kill the power-leveling industry you so seem to hate (even though it causes longer player duration, and gold sales balance your very VERY poor concept of an economy) and will allow us to not have to spend several months of the year just grinding through the same boring crap grinds.


THAT impenetrable fortress of online gaming, World of Warcraft, has made a concession to the free-to-play hordes that gather in an effort to chip away at the empire – it’s also free.

At least, WoW‘s new Starter Edition is free.

Replacing a more customary 14-day trial and scrubbing its time limit, the Starter Edition nonetheless carries over the trial’s restrictions.

In place of a time limit is instead a cap that halts character progression at level 20 out of a possible 85.

Coincidentally, it takes about two weeks playing a couple of hours each day to reach level 20, but on the other hand, those with the Starter Edition can grind out as many sub-20 characters as they like.

So what can’t they do? Well, the social experience is significantly diminished: there’s no voice or public chat, no guilds, no item trading (a key part of WoW‘s internal economy), and Starter users are prevented from creating or joining parties that contain members over the level 20 threshold.

Oh, and there’s a wealth limit of 10 gold – but that’s actually a decent amount in WoW terms.

For now at least, WoW remains steadfastly focused on converting new players into paid subscribers, bundling in the Burning Crusade expansion for those that pony up.

Other massively multiplayer games (MMOs) that become free-to-play – Lord of the Rings Online, Champions Online, and (soon) LEGO Universe and City of Heroesmake money by means of an in-game shop that offers extra items and quests, with optional premium memberships taking the place of a subscription tier.

Some, like Allods Online and Vindictus, launch as free-to-play from the off.

Guild Wars 2 will require a one-time retail purchase only; and then there are the brave few, such as RIFT, that pursue a fully fledged subscription model in an effort to beat the 12-million subscriber WoW at its own game.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/gaming/world-of-warcraft-finally-hitcches-a-ride-on-the-free-to-play-bandwagon/story-e6frfrt9-1226084867336#ixzz1QjtHYUde
Posted: June 30th, 2011
Categories: game reviews, games, rant, reviews, warcraft economics, world of warcraft
Comments: No Comments.

Dirt 2, Ken Block, Douch Baggery to the Max

Occasionally I come across someting so fucking horrible that I can’t POSSIBLY review it in 140 characters, and I’ve been drinking, bad mix. When it comes to bad games Dirt 2 takes the cake. I wanted to buy Dirt 3, but K-Mart are useless as tits on a bull and never have any games in stock (aside from games from 2009 being sold for $149, I shit you not, I have pics to prove it (and will tweet them when I find my iPhone). I honestly think this may have beaten Pure, the all time WORST FUCKING GAME IN THE WORLD that I blogged about a year or so back because it blew my mind that something could be so woeful, although that was made by Disney, so that says a lot about this game trumping it in the shit stakes.

In life, you have car dorks, then you have car guys.

Car dorks buy a Holden Commodore SV8, with it’s fresh from Thailand cheap nasty ABS plastic interior, it’s underperforming small block V8 that’s blown away by a little German 1.6 litre puppy like my Fiesta, but sounds like you’re going hard even at idle and you know that’s ALL THAT MATTERS, right? Oh, and because Holden racing team sink more money into V8 super car events and WIN! They win, so clearly their cars are the best, I mean, it’s not like their on road cars are any different than a million dollar race car that’s been specially developed by a group of thirty engineers who’s full time job is to make it devestatingly fast, surely the out the box $29,000 base model Commo’s do that too! This is their mentality. They’ll probably buy it because it’s an ‘Aussie’ car, even though it’s been American and not made on shore for the last couple of decades.

Car guys will divide kw / $$ and read up on the vehicle and purchase it based on the dynamics of the vehicle. They will do so based not on branding, commercialisation, how ‘pretty’ it is, or how it’s distant cousin in racing platform form with a mil of engineering dropped on it wins things. They will do so based purely on an understanding of the elements required of the right car for the job, taking into consideration elements such as cost to own as opposed to cost to buy, etc. They’ll also look into simplistic base level mods they can make on the cheap to get things rolling too usually. These are car guys (or girls, I guess there’s some out there, but very few).

This game is for car dorks. Pull right trigger, aim for things that don’t look like walls, win race. Even on hard settings. It’s a very polished product and looks great, but that’s it. You can’t customize your vehicle, aside from like 4 custom liveries, that aren’t custom, but commercialised wank, but that sums up this game. In the racing world one commercialised wanker is Ken Block. He puts together films for YouTube using a multi million dollar budget and full film production unit in his overpriced cars with no expense spared. Basically he’s just a rich kid who’s decided to try and pretend to be a race car driver but hasn’t even placed anywhere exciting yet.

Sad part is, you have people out there who idolise him and other dickweeds purely because they saw the vids on YouTube and … well, can’t fucking read up on a subject or tell sensationalistic babble from their own arsehole. He’s the owner of DC shoes, and tries desperately to be one of the cool kids but fails. That is the constant vibe throughout this game. You’ve got aggressive beats that would be pretty phat if they weren’t 10 second samples looped, great graphics and corporate / commercialised designs on … well, everything.

The entire thing is just pure complete product placement of sponsors and no game content. I’m SO glad I only paid $26 for it, but I REALLY fucking want to take it back. I’d set the fucking thing on fire and film it as a video response to one of Bent Cock’s uh, Ken Block’s YouTube videos but I’ve paid for it so they’ve already won. They even had the audacity to release downloadable (bought) content. Stupidest. Fucking. Game. Ever.

Posted: June 27th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, rant
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Chinese Prisoners Forced to Goldfarm in MMO’s

Imprisoned for “illegally petitioning” the government over corruption in his town, the former Chinese inmate known as “Liu Dali” has told the U.K. Guardian that in addition to back-breaking manual labor he and other prisoners were forced to play video games for hours on end. Not as a form of punishment or leisure activity, but because their overseers had assembled a massive “goldfarming” operation, wherein they exploited prison labor to earn money playing online games. From the Guardian:

“Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour,” Liu told the Guardian. “There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn’t see any of the money. The computers were never turned off.”

While the idea of prisoners being forced to play video games may seem chuckleworthy, and it certainly is absurd, it is no laughing matter. Again, from the Guardian:

“If I couldn’t complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things,” he said.

Goldfarming is now extremely widespread in China, where the Guardian reports nearly $2 billion in online currency was traded accounting for 80% of the world’s goldfarming. While for some of the world’s poor population, goldfarming could mean a better life, the use of prison labor is bizarre and more than a little troublesome. It also complicates international trade, since some countries refuse to accept exported goods made in prisons.

Liu speculates that many other prisoners are likely still forced into goldfarming operations, and assumes that the practice must be widespread. His belief is backed by University of California researcher Jin Ge, who describes China as “the factory of virtual goods.” One wonders how comfortable gamers would be if they knew that the items and credits purhcased for a game came at the cost of forced labor.

Update: The Telegraph reports that Chinese officials have denied the story, saying that gold farming would allow prisoners to communicate with the outside world, which they would never allow:

[A]n official at the central office for labour camps in Heilongjiang denied that inmates were forced to play games online. “I have never heard of this. If you want to see for yourself, come to one of our labour camps,” he said.

The official, who declined to give his name, said: “We do not allow our inmates to do high-risk occupations, such as coal-mining. We do not have large numbers of computers. And we do not allow our prisoners to have any contact with the outside world. If they were playing these online games they could easily communicate with other people. We would never allow that.”

(U.K. Guardian)

Duke Nukem Forever Review

Duke Nukem Forever is coming. The long argued vaporware game has had it’s ups and downs to the point of becoming almost memetic by reputation alone. But it’s recent application for classification in Australia has led to a nice juicy leak of information that we can use to sum up what’s in store for us as gamers! And you guessed right if you guessed more sex, drugs, violence and toilet humour.

Below are the moments of most interest to Australian classifications censor dicks, spoiler alert btw. If you want to read the full review, you can find the report here (PDF).


An example of crude humour includes playable elements which enable Duke to “piss” and “throw” faeces.

In various bathroom locations throughout the game, the player can have Duke “piss” in urinals and on occasion, in these same venues can also pick up faecal matter from a toilet bowl and throw it about.

Dialogue contains various crude reference to “pissing” and when throwing faecal matter Duke is heard to utter “what sick motherf—er picks up wet faeces” and “what am I? A monkey?”

The Board also notes the player ability, in a final climactic scene when Duke kills the alien general, to implicitly urinate into the defeated creature’s eye socket.


The game contains violence that is strong in impact and justified by context. Constant battle with robot-like alien creatures is present throughout the game and is therefore strong in viewing impact.

Battles incorporate the use of futuristic weapons such as a Freeze Ray, Shrink Ray, other super-sized guns, grenade launchers and hand-to-hand combat.

In one of the game levels, Duke enters an alien lair to “rescue” kidnapped Earth women who have been implicitly impregnated by the alien enemy.

These women are rendered with a mannequin-like appearance, and appear torso nude and partially cocooned either suspected from a cave-like roof or against walls.

In order to “spare” the women’s suffering Duke has the ability to shoot the women resulting in small blood bursts. Those he does not shoot are seen implicitly exploding as the alien “baby” matures.


The game contains implied sexual activity that is strong in impact.

In the level Duke Lives, the player sees a first person perspective of Duke’s lounge room, as he implicitly sits on a couch, playing a computer game on a big screen TV.

Off-screen, sexual noises are heard and the shot widens to reveal two women rising up from a kneeling position just below Duke’s waist line. Fellatio is implied as the women wipe their mouths and giggle.

In the level Titty City, Duke enters a strip club where he meets a stripper who invites him to locate (among other items) a vibrator and a condom.

In the men’s toilet, Duke can enter a toilet cubicle with what appears to be a “glory hole” in the cubicle wall. A cartoon image of a woman’s face is on the wall with a hole evident in the drawing’s mouth and the word “Yum” beside it.

Upon the successful completion of this level, Duke is given a “special” lap-dance by the stripper. The breast nude female is depicted in a first person perspective implicitly gyrating on Duke’s lap.

The Board notes a facility also exists for the player to “jiggle” the stripper’s breasts during this scene.

Posted: March 31st, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, nsfw, pop culture, reviews, sci-fi
Comments: No Comments.

Panasonic Handheld & Battlestar Galactica Online MMORPG!

Nearly 15 years after the demise of the 3DO, Panasonic is breaking back into gaming hardware with a new handheld dubbed The Jungle, designed specifically for online gaming and MMOs.

Details are limited at the moment, but according to reports from Gizmodo, Crunch Gear, and others, The Jungle will feature a full QWERTY keyboard, dual d-pads, shoulder buttons, and a touchpad. The design resembles some of Nintendo’s earlier handhelds, namely the Game Boy Advance, with a clamshell enclosure that allegedly sports a high-resolution display.

Specific technical elements of the device have not been announced, though it is believed that it will be based on Linux, feature HDMI output, and possibly even incorporate 3G networking.

Currently only one game has been confirmed for The Jungle; a new MMO called Battlestar Galactica Online. A web show named Online Underground has also been linked to the device, produced by Machinima.com.

Yes. Battlestar Galactica Online. The reimagined badass epic version, that, if you haven’t already seen in it’s entirety you should downlo… go and buy and watch immediately before any other geek or fellow nerd realises you’re a faker.

Below, the wonders of BGO trailer: –

A website for The Jungle has been established, though information is scarce aside from a short teaser video.

Again, these reports are currently unconfirmed and official details from Panasonic have not been released, so stay tuned for updates.

Read more: http://au.gear.ign.com/articles/112/1125473p1.html#ixzz11U8eoDKx

Posted: October 5th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games
Comments: No Comments.

Halo: Reach (Around) Review, from a REAL Critic

I’m not a Halo fan, but I’ve familiarised myself with the previous games. When Halo was released back in 2000 I was too busy FPSing away with real games on PC’s and to be honest, the game console market was too pie in the sky back then for me to waste a dime on a console. So keep this in mind, and you’ll understand my viewpoint on some key issues of the game.

Reach fell short of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2′s $331M first day grossing, but it’s $213 million secured it as the highest grossing ‘entertainment launch’, beating out all other games, movies, and .. well, all entertainment. Except strippers.

The ONLY selling factor of this game in my opinion is the fact they have corrected a narratological flaw which has haunted them since day one. The Spartans are alive. You are not the last surviving super hero with matyr complex, and you can play as ‘one of’ the players in a game, which is exactly how I like my games. ‘Everyone’s the hero’ is such an outdated methodology of gameplay.

Every release of a Halo game had me asking if there was only one super hero or whether there’s armies in mech supported battle armor yet, every release was a disappointment. And Master Chief? What kind of a stupid name is that, I dig they were trying to be all ‘lol future army kthx’ but seriously, retarded.

In campaign mode, the first thing you will notice is that your fellow super soldiers are actually nerfed NPC’s. So nerfed in fact, if you take a dive behind an obstacle and set your controller down, go make yourself a coffee, watch a TV show, and come back, everyone is still standing and still exchanging fire in the ‘heat of battle’ kind of way it’s trying to depict itself as.

A spartan cannot kill a grunt. Wtf kind of nuboids wrote this game? Spartan mythology, or at least my take of it, was that they were super soldiers who could single handedly cleave a battlefield in two against insurmountable odds. Guess not. Although you don’t really care what happens to your team mates as there’s no emotive bonding, no cross-chatter between them that makes them ‘people’. It’s not a story about the epic last stand of the Spartans on a lone planet under full scale Covenant invasion, the last defence before earth and the fall of humanity. It just assumes you’ll ‘guess’ the story and ‘pick up the ambience’, without actually providing any.

Expect glitches, such as enemies in vehicles doing weird stuff or getting stuck, characters vanishing when killed and projectiles mysteriously piercing your shields and killing you. The flow of the game is no better, your radar only occasionally gives you waypoints, making you ‘guess’ the game play like Mass Effect. You also get obnoxious checkpoints slightly not where they’re meant to be, weapon racks after firefights, which on loading up leads you to a cut scene where you’re set back to default weapons anyway, and stuff is taken away from you inconsistently at absolute random points in the game, with the hump being perfectly and predictably mid-game where enemies can suddenly take on ten times the damage they previously took to die.

There ARE some pretty nice cut scenes, there’s nothing original or awe inspiring but if you’re a Halo fan boy, you’re already rolling your eyes at me and living in your denial that this is TTLY AWSUM. You’re wrong. It’s okay. If you’ve played the Halo: Reach Beta you’ll likely already be familiar with a lot of the new armour abilities, including jetpacks, sprinting (long overdue, a true sign of the banality and ineptitude of the game developers), and invulnerability but how they fit into the main campaign is another thing. Space combat is kind of cool, zero G adds a bit of a fun element.

Firefight 2.0 can be summed up as derivative of the fail PVP of Left 4 Dead 2, I won’t even go into more details about that, plenty of other people have given extremely positive and biased reviews of it, but to a hardened game critic you’ll just roll your eyes.

The multiplayer is ok. Halo has always had a vapid fanbase of multiplayers happy to spray’n’pray, die, respawn their way through player v player engagements, and so it continues. It does have a bit more of a Battlefield 2: Bad Company 2 feel to it in game dynamics though. Persistent armor is cute.

My ultimate caveat emptor is this.

If you’re not an XBL Gold member, or you’re a cynic, critic, or veteran gamer who just wants to experience the content, have a bit of a dick about, and score up some achievements (as with all games these days achievements are split so only XBL Gold members can unlock the goodies), then you will NOT be able to justify the high price tag Bungie placed on this.

If you’re up for further Bungie banality of grinding through endless dateless nights with your equally dateless friends in endless games of Firefight or Invasion, or simply a bleary eyed fanboy (or girl) of the left-dangling-in-the-air doubting your sanity due to the inconsistent narrative (nearly bordering on a JRPG) kind of aspect, then you lack the sense or mental faculty to understand what justifying a purchase means, and in fact you probably haven’t even read this far, so enjoy and gg.


Posted: September 17th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, xbox
Comments: No Comments.

(Not So) Final Fantasy XIV (Online!)

Many of you may have missed my review of Final Fantasy XIXIVUXCHGGG in all it’s absolutel crapness, one thing I noted was that it felt like it was trying to be an MMO, a single player MMO, with all the elements of World of Warcraft, except if such a project was executed by a mildly retarded chimp on mesculine. Well, sure enough, Final Fantasy XIV was announced as ‘Final Fantasy Online’. It’ll probably be subscription only and take 80,000 hours game play before letting you meet another human being, but they’re sticking with their fantasy roots instead of physics defying stupidly thought out and animated future-tech spin on the franchise.

Square Enix fans (aka: franchise bitches) will buy this and love it, but because most Square Enix fans are 40 year old virgins they’ve never played WoW and won’t appreciate just how comical Final Fantasy Online is compared to it. You have the Horde, you have giant steampunk creations, you have a pretty bad knock off of Stormwind, complete with harbour and lame boats, there’s implied naval combat in FFO but this is probably only a cut scene because we all know that aside from cut scenes all you have to do it mosh the green button to play the game. From lame racial dance moves through to gnome asshats, from Stitches rendered green to their very own take of the Dark Portal, you’ve got plainstriders, and even a dodgy attempt at the Horde, oh wait, I already said that.

Click here to see the latest trailer of Final Fantasy XIV Online and remember to keep an eye out at 1:57 for the elven Harry Potter. Either way, my guess is this will suck as much as every other FF game I’ve played, but they seem to have developed the perfect method of making their games suck more as the franchise matures.

Posted: July 1st, 2010
Categories: game reviews, games, reviews
Comments: No Comments.

Assassins Creed 3 Destined for Win

Posted: June 17th, 2010
Categories: assassins creed 2, game reviews, games, news, reviews, sci-fi
Comments: No Comments.

Battlestar Galactica MMORPG Announced

The global market leader in browser-based massively multiplayer online games (MMOG), Bigpoint, demonstrated the first technical demo of Battlestar Galactica Online at E3 Expo in Los Angeles. A tactical space combat and adventure MMOG based upon Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica series, Battlestar Galactica Online (http://www.bgo.bigpoint.com) will be shown by appointment only in the West Hall, booth 4336.

The demo will highlight the Unity engine technology that will drive Battlestar Galactica Online game experience and demonstrate how the game’s browser-based platform will reach the huge global audience already playing browser-based MMOGs on Bigpoint.com and through Bigpoint’s many popular distribution partners. The game, however, will be remarkably shit and is set to disappoint BSG fans, as they have come to expect since the original leak in 2007 of an MMORPG that went vaporware, then MMORPG, then vaporware, then MMOG (MMOG is also secret code for “Sucks cock harder than a $2 hooker.”)

The debut trailer for Battlestar Galactica Online is now available on the official E3 Expo virtual press room and the BGO Youtube channel (www.youtube.com/bgo).

Go here to add yourself to the waiting list for the announcement of release of this destined soon-to-be flop: http://battlestar-galactica.bigpoint.com/

Posted: June 17th, 2010
Categories: game reviews, games, gossip, sci-fi
Comments: No Comments.

E3 Xbox: The Future, Plus The ALL NEW XBOX & Kinect

Just watching the live broadcast of the E3, telecast globally, and even comandeering the time square big TV. This will be a rambling review as it’s 4AM in Australia and I’m writing this as it happens. Some win announcements are Call of Duty: Black Ops with Xbox and Activision signing a contract that everything CoD will be Xbox first. The biggest downside is how ‘on rails’ it feels, all movement lacks kinetics of realism requisite for immersion. 10 years of Xbox, they definitely have some exciting things in store.

The new CoD will be out 11.09.10. Project Natal launched, being renamed Kinect (a play on kinetics and connect) with a world premier of new experiences promised. Kinect is a diminuitive set top addition that reads signatures of the attachments on the player.

This makes Nintendo seem as anachronistic as it’s lame mario franchises, which it always was as only tards bought them because they lacked any decent games and yes whilst it had some kinetic interaction the Nintendo Power Glove (for those old enough to remember if from the early 90′s) did exactly what Wii did and it flopped massively. Kinect seems to corner a multi-purpose application.

The stupidly named Metal Gear Solid Lightning Bolt Action Rising was launched by Konami with Kojima Productions where yaoi-to-be stars with oversized hair using their epic ninja skills can cut giant cyborgs ten times their size in half. I already want to scream at the head of anyone who’d buy something so stupid and lame.

Phil Spencer of Microsoft Game Studio lauded the industry defining multiplayer and graphics prowess of their Xbox platform before unveiling Gears of War 3, the gameplay looks fun but it’s definitely nothing that would be a blockbuster, except amongst teenage boys perhaps. One dynamic I liked was the fact you can use cover, like in Mass Effect 1 and 2, unsure whether this was in previous versions, as I said before, not my cup of tea due to it being too unrealistic / scifi fantasy.

Peter Molyneux, the creative director of MS Games Studios Europe announced another Xbox 360 exclusive, Fable 3, set 50 years after Fable 2. Loaded with choice and consequence, with action packed game play in a more immersive realm. Set to release 26.10.10, set in Albion you get to play a super awesome character that goes from revolutionary to emperor of win as per .. well, the other two. It’s very on-rails, but the graphics are very pretty albeit stereotypical of a fantasy game.

Microsoft’s newest partner Crytek revealed a very awe inspiring trailer for the dickily named Codename Kingdoms, look it up on YouTube, looks seriously cool from the trailer alone but don’t hold me to any promise of quality there.

After 34,000,000 games sold and 2b online hours Halo Reach was announced by Bungie, on the heels of the Halo Reach beta, citing it as the most ambitious game they’ve ever created. The unveiled world premier was of gameplay as opposed to cinematography, which makes the September shipping game look very impressive to the point where I’d say I may even jump in on the Halo franchise finally. That being said if they advertised it’s storyline better as zombies in space I would have been all over that shit. The music, ambience, cinematics, and dynamics of movement make it seem like it may very well be a blockbuster.

Kinect was explained as having an impact on more than just gaming, waving at Kinect will let it recognise who you are and sign you in simply by waving at it. Waving at it again will bring up a controller free menu, where you can interact using just hand gestures. There are no apparent things attached to the player, like we seemed to think, it just views the player optically. That does however mean that lighting will be an issue. It also enables voice commands, in a very in depth manner by addressing the device and following it with a verbal command. It really does look like Microsoft are trying to launch a tech-savvy household entertainment centre as part of the functionality of Kinect. To my chagrin they played Bustin’ Jeiber as a demonstration of how effortless it is to listen to music verbally.

An unexpected announcement was that on Windows Phone 7 Kinect and your Xbox will sync with it, allowing you to integrate your stuff in a more streamlined fashion. Using VideoKinect you can even watch movies with friends in other states, or even countries, online at the same time. Amusingly they chose Avatar Last Aidbender, with a comment about the ‘game about that’ and ‘boosting’ gamer scores. Lollip0p and Velveteen, two sisters, demo’d this but aside from the obvious potential of the technology were boring as batshit and so rigid in delivery.

My brain shut down when the ESPN logo came up, there was some rabble about some games based on sports, blah boring. Okay, sports aside, the USC graphics quality is AMAZING, it looks like you’re watching a sports match not playing a video game. It’s also interesting watching them interact with it through Kinect.

Kudo Tsunoda, the creative director for Kinect (Gamertag: Kudo) addressed his promise that Kinect would revolutionise the way you have fun, lauding the ‘it just works’ natural interaction system using your body and your voice–something that is usually reserved more for Apple products–Kinect promises to unite people socially, bringing people together in the same room or around the world in a lot of new ways. He went on to point out some six odd Kinect release games.

Kinect is slated for release November 4th globally.

  • Kinectimals are a fun bunch of interactive pets you can play with with your hands, interacting with the animals like they were in your living room. On screen the pet interacted with the young girl in some novel ways, even when she hid from it it cutely animated pressing up against the screen peering around trying to find where it’s owner went. The young girl also issued verbal commands, telling it which toys to go and get, one amusing animation was a matrix like barrel roll over a jump rope. You can adopt 40 animals with over 30 unique activities.
  • Kinect Sports had some English bloke taunting a crowd of avatars in a stadium, the first game they played was a track and field match where they ran on the spot and jumped imaginary hurdles. I refuse to put in that much effort to play a game, if I wanted that I’d get a friggen Wii. Other sports include soccer, bowling, running, javlin, long jump, table tennis, boxing, beach volleyball, and more.
  • Kinect Joy Ride is a controllerless car racing game, the graphics and dynamics look as novice as a Wii game, and having to use an ‘imaginary’ wheel is just ridiculous, all interactions seem to be automatic aside from the wheel. It really looks like a Wii game, except instead of a dicky Nintendo character from the 1980′s you have dicky avatar characters in their stead.
  • Kinect Adventures is some retarded rollercoaster ride where you have to dodge, jump and generally interact with crap from a static platform, a rollercoaster and a water raft being two examples shown. It does however seamlessly add in a new player when someone stands beside the current player, again though it’s far more motion than a real gamer is going to invest in playing what is fundamentally such a sophmoric game that it’s almost designed for the mildly retarded.
  • YourShape: Fitness Evolved, exlusive for Kinect from Ubisoft, will sink Wii Fit, doing everything Wii fit does and then some, with full body monitoring of your exercising to the point of even being able to tell if you’re doing aerobics in time, or dipping a knee to 90 degrees in certain exercises. The advert for it is outstanding and very creative, and the demonstration of the game environment portrays you and your entire body shape and interactions. It also gives you a glimpse as to how you look to the Kinect module, a yellow and orange blob with vague definitions of your more intricate features. If can measure your appendages, estimate your height, and calibrate in a manner that it entire absorbs you and tailors fitness routines to your exact shape.
  • Dance Central, from Harmonix, comparable to DDR on crack with liberal dashings of MTV. The quality of interaction with the game is pretty smashing, and it’s a very revitalising take on DDR without having a lame mat, or worse, a Nintendo product in your house.
  • Star Wars OMFG Lucasarts and Microsoft gaming studios team up to release a Kinect only star wars game where you get to weild a light saber and do .. starwarsy things. The graphics are very primative compared to other SW franchise games, but it looks like it has a lot of promise. This game alone will sink the evil Wii, but unfortunately there was little more than a teaser of gameplay and a note that it’s due 2011.

Turn 10 cam on to chat about Forza, talking about a Ferrari (GASP, no Audi?) discussing the way that it’ll allow you to use Kinect, using an imaginary steering wheel, but also allowing you to angle your head to look around the cabin of your vehicle which is a very handy feature. Marrying Forza 3′s amazing graphics with intuitive gameplay interaction is going to allow Turn 10 to provide radical car experiences. Browsing car designs just got better, you can interact with any part of the car and get the details of anything from headlights to carbon ceramic breaks, or walk around the vehicle to examine different parts. I’m praying that Kinect also implements with car design, I’m very well known for releasing some stunningly designed cars in Forza 3 and my main excuse is a friggen huge screen and patience, with this kind of intuitive interaction I should be able to release even more amazing designs. The previewing of cars also illustrated an internal examination where you can look at and interact with any feature of the vehicle.

The Xbox E3 closing speech came with a surprise, a NEW Xbox 360, sleaker, cooler looking, and shipping NOW, expect them to be in the stores by the end of the week. For those who’ve read through this rambling post (and I apologise, but it’s now five am and I’m shattered) I hope you enjoy this news and I look forward to gaming with you all in the future! Also, check out my YouTube channel for a peep at Halo Reach and the closing speech showing off the new Xbox at: http://www.youtube.com/user/bashpr0mpt

Posted: June 15th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, lifestyle, pop culture, technology, xbox
Comments: No Comments.

Xbox Review: Alan Wake @ Quarantine Station, Spooky?

In short, the answer is no. But I just watched a cute little review through Xbox Live Australia reviewing Alan Wake, they set up a group of people at the old Quarantine Station, spooking them about how it’s the ‘most haunted site in Australia’ yadda yadda before letting them play Alan Wake.

It was interesting to see how high peoples heart rate got, I think that gaming should count as a cardio work out with those kind of figures. For the record, the Quarantine Station is about as haunted as my outhouse, many years ago I broke into it with some mates which involved some stealthy ninja pissbolting past the guard house everytime the guard was watching TV.

Our adventure into the Q-Station as it’s colloqueally known was uneventful, aside from walking out the door into a patrol car and walking back inside quickly without the guard stopping (unsure whether he saw us, or assumed we were ghosts and shat brix), and stumbling upon a homeless dude sleeping in one of the huts.

It is very atmospheric, but if you’re after spooky sites, it’s far from it, and this was all in pitch black with a thick fog in winter mind you. Maybe we just had higher testicular fortitude than those chosen by XBL AU for their ‘project’.

For more info on their review, go check out ‘the project‘ on XBL, or turn your Xbox on and check out Spotlight if you’re in AU, first cab off the rank.

Game Review: Final Fantasy XVIII!1cvIEXWLOL

For quite a while I’ve been trying to think of how to review Final Fantasy XIII without spamming random letters by smashing my keyboard into my face whilst shouting profanities that aren’t even invented yet. I found a video that summarises how I feel. Out of all the games I’ve ever played, this was, by far, the worst gaming experience of my life; it was a corny weaboo video disc with a unidirectional linier pseudo-interactive DVD menu system where you have to repeatedly most the green button to see the next cut scene. It earned my first, and probably my only: 0/10.

I hope this REALLY is the FINAL Final Fantasy ever.

Xbox Natal set for October 2010 Release

A Microsoft employee may have inadvertently given away the biggest secret in gaming this year.

Project Natal is Microsoft’s attempt to revolutionise motion-control in video games.

An add-on for the XBox 360, it does away with handheld controllers altogether, relying solely on body motion and gestures caught on camera to control the on-screen action.

In a slow year for game fans – at least when it comes to hardware – Natal’s release couldn’t come soon enough.

And thanks to Microsoft marketing manager Syed Bilal Tarig, it may be coming sooner than expected.

In an interview with GamerTag radio, Tariq revealed Natal would get a worldwide release in October – a full two months before the end-of-year date that Microsoft had been peddling.

“I do have great news to share with everybody that Project Natal will be launched in Saudi Arabia at the same time it will be launched in the rest of the world, that is to be sometime in October,” he said.

“Definitely it is going to be October 2010, we will have it in Saudi Arabia for sure.”

He also confirmed that it would be unveiled at the E3 games expo in June, as rumoured.

Project Natal is one of a series of updates to the console that Microsoft claims will enable it to remain relevant for gamers until at least 2015.

It first appeared in public at last year’s E3 expo, where a basic unit showed it was capable of motion-tracking up to four players at once.

A notice sent out by Microsoft earlier this year suggests the exact date for the completed unit’s unveiling will be June 13, a day before the start of E3 2010.

Posted: May 13th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, general, lifestyle, pop culture, reviews, technology, xbox
Comments: No Comments.

Got ADAM? Amazing Little Sister Bioshock Prop!

I’ve been linked by a few people to some pics floating about of a Big Brother suit that some prop guy made, but recently came across this little wonder, also made by the same guy and included in the photo shoots of the Big Brother suit with his girlfriend playing the Little Sister weilding this: –


The creator, Harrison Krix, is a ‘graphic designer’ yet seems to be making a tidy profit doing commission work producing props. Including a bloody awesome Daft Punk helmet amongst other things.

Click here to check out the blow by blow of the ADAM bottle and synringe prop.

Posted: May 4th, 2010
Categories: design, gadget, game reviews, games, oddities, pop culture, reviews, technology
Comments: No Comments.

Sims 3 for Xbox, PS3, Wii

In February, Electronic Arts laid out its release slate for the coming year. At the end of the list of games scheduled as coming in the October-December quarter was “The Sims 3 on Console Title TBA (consoles, handhelds).” The schedule backed up reports that initially surfaced in 2006 that the Sims series was coming to consoles. It also made perfect business sense, as the Sims 3 has sold over 4.5 million units to date on the PC and Mac, making it the top PC game of 2009. Today, EA officially announced that the Sims 3 will ship for the DS, Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 this fall. Published under the EA Play label, the game will sport many of the same customization and character creation options as the PC edition of the game, as well as some new features. These include karma powers, which players can use to give their in-game incarnations instant luck–be it good or bad.

Sims 3 is already cross platform as it is with iPhone / iPod extended expansions allowing your favorite sims to be exported to come with you anywhere for unlimited adventures around the world, so these expansions will make it the most platform open game engine developed.

Posted: April 28th, 2010
Categories: game reviews, games, news, reviews, xbox
Comments: No Comments.

App Store Games, Are They Worth It?

Whilst many of you may misconstrue my socialist nation as a key indicator of my political leanings I tend to be rather centrist. What’s that you say? I snub my nose at the free market economy and objectivism? Because I pirate stuff? Nay, I too have wasted money whilst sitting on the toilet with my iPhone, which is I might add my current place of publication of this update!

So, app store crap, what’s the dub? I’d love to get a bit of feedback (tweet @bashpr0mpt) about your experience with apps, purchased and free. I’ve bought numerous crappy apps that sound great, but weren’t.

My main gripe with the app store is the amount of IDENTICAL games sold as different games all based off the mafia wars model, rock bands, vampires, zombies, racing, high school, all the same bloody crap rebadged and rehashed. Apple need to rm -rf anything with ‘farm’ or ‘wars’ in it’s title IMHO.

Last Day of Work have given me compartment syndrome from toilet seats with their inane yet quirky and addictive series of games, many of which you can grab at flash games locales online–but hey iPhones and iPods don’t support flash–but also available for a small price (a few bucks) in the app store and horribly addictive. Most centre on a closed economic system with very limited upgrade models but the realms or theatres of the game are persistant.

Persistant realms are nothing new but make IRL timelines interesting, or in the case of idiots like me merely make you roll your phones clock forwards to get that instant fix.

I tried Sim City, addictive but buggy and crashes lots after you get your city big. Also tried Sims 3, it was as absolutely crap as the insanely limited Sims 2 for the PSP which has a low playability, low graphics, sound, gameplay and replayability if you ask me. Those, sadly, cost more for one than ALL the LDOW publications available.

So, your turn. What have you played that’s fun and … well, not crap?

Posted: April 20th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, lifestyle, pop culture, reviews, technology
Comments: No Comments.

Games Retailer Fine Print of ‘Immortal Soul’ Ownership

A game retailer revealed that it legally owns the souls of thousands of online shoppers, thanks to a clause in their terms and conditions.  FOXNews.com reported the retailer, British firm GameStation, added the “immortal soul clause” to the contract shoppers signed before making any online purchases earlier this month.

It states that customers grant the company the right to claim their soul.

“By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions.”

GameStation’s form also points out that “we reserve the right to serve such notice in 6 (six) foot high letters of fire, however we can accept no liability for any loss or damage caused by such an act. If you a) do not believe you have an immortal soul, b) have already given it to another party, or c) do not wish to grant Us such a license, please click the link below to nullify this sub-clause and proceed with your transaction.”

The terms of service were updated on April Fool’s Day as a gag, but the retailer did so to make a very real point.

They said no one reads the online terms and conditions of shopping and companies are free to insert whatever language they want into the documents.

The company noted that it would not be enforcing the ownership rights and planned to email customers nullifying any claim on their soul.

Posted: April 18th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, pop culture, rant, scams, technology
Comments: No Comments.

Left 4 Dead 2: No Online Games Bug

Dozens of online L4D2 players on my Xbox Live list as well as random strangers have been hassling me to point out and draw attention to how poorly made Left4Dead 2 is as far as online play.

Many of you who have it will notice even when you select quickmatch, no matter what time or day, you get 0 results after much delay and it generates a player lobby for you. A lobby which can take up to an hour to fill four slots. If you google this problem you’ll find over 378,000 people asking the same question and a grand total of -ZERO- replies from the manufacturer.

Given that a lot of the gameplay and achievements focus, albeit force, the user on lame repetative grinding of the very uninspired multiplayer challenges beyond co-op play, this is a MAJOR let down and a massive impact on the games playability.

• Attached is a photo of all the screen capped achievements for comparison.

Without functional network play many if not most achievements remain locked. Over the next few days I will be taking this up with Valve to see if I can get an official response. Stay tuned, and zombiephiles, follow me on: –

Twitter: http://twitter.com/bashpr0mpt
Facebook: http://facebook.com/bashpr0mpt
MySpace: http://myspace.com/bashpr0mpt

I’m not spammy and will do my best to keep you and my tens of thousands of zany readers entertained and most of all, up to date on this friggen annoying bug!

Posted: April 11th, 2010
Categories: game reviews, L4D2, rant, xbox, zombies
Comments: No Comments.

$56 Game to Guess Search Engine Terms

Only in Japan would you have such a zombie-like consumeristic drive where people will pay $56 to play a lame game of hangman with Google search terms, yet lo and behold Nintendo says it has jointly developed a game with US internet giant Google in which players compete to generate the most search engine results.

Nintendo will release Ando Kensaku on April 29 as the first joint project between the two companies, a Nintendo spokesman said. In the game, to be given a Japan-only release for Nintendo’s Wii console, players compete by correctly guessing the most popular web search terms, and the word with the most hits wins, the spokesman said.

Needless to say we all know wonderful and colourful search results will yield much hilarity. Who uses a wii these days anyway? Seriously?

Posted: April 8th, 2010
Categories: game reviews, games, technology
Comments: No Comments.

Metro 2033 Launch Review

The year is 2033, humanity lays in ruins, the subways of Moscow seeth with survivors barely surviving at that. One of the biggest FPS RPG’s released this year is Metro 2033, set in a post-apocalyptic underground environment in Moscow. Brooding, visceral, gloomy and imposing, this action/adventure is a definite for my list of games to trial.

If only it didn’t have disproportionately large monster creatures, making it utterly unrealistic. Especially given that it uses two songs from the 28 Days Later soundtrack, part of me (well, a huge part of me) was praying it was zombie survival horror. It looks cute and all, but the elements of the narrative lost me the second there were giant mutant things.

Take a look for yourself: –

Is it just me, or do you wince every time you see a brilliant potential wasted? Game designers always go for the over the top road of everyone’s the super hero who saves the planet, or monsters have to be monsterous. Most don’t understand the subtleties of the human drama. The most fearsome monster is man, and the most rewarding position is to play as a nobody, equally pitting your skills with others in an attempt to become a somebody. Don’t start us off as super hardened veterans, and don’t set unrealistic glow in the dark radioactive mutated goat-llama’s as the villains.

Before I review this game through a play through, I offer this one piece of advice to it’s creators: rethink your strategy and utilise your game engine and current graphics, put in zombies (YAY) that aren’t unrealistic with no special ability aside from say, being the fast viral type from 28 Days Later (considering you opened that can of worms by using it’s soundtrack songs which got me thinking) and apply some means of MMORPG to the concept and watch your company become a great like Blizzard.

I mean, surely game companies MUST realise that a survival horror MMO of packed humans living in fear, building relationships and friendships, working in unison just to survive and scrabble for scraps and enough fuel to not freeze whilst being oppressed by the omnipotent of bleak stormy weather outside is an instant winner with an MMO element thrown in for good measure? By winner, I’m talking billion dollar franchise type stuff here.

The world is still waiting for a game producer to hit that niche–that, for a niche is pretty damn mainstream and huge–but will Metro’s creators be able to take that challenge and release an expansion/mod?

Posted: March 30th, 2010
Categories: game reviews, games, reviews
Comments: No Comments.


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