Taking it back to the Old School SSX Style

 

I dusted off a classic game a couple of days ago after getting nostalgic about it. Talking to Alice and Robyn about their SSX experiences and I was surprised by the knowledge they had of the series! Ok so the main topic was around SSX Tricky, but that game isn’t backwards compatible for an xbox 360 🙁 SSX 3 was still right up there with Tricky so I thought I’d play it!

First things first, it doesn’t look as bad as I was expecting. Considering I was playing this on a 37  inch screen it didn’t seem stretched, it was slightly blurry, but only in that 11 year old game type of way!
Now for anyone who has never played an SSX game, firstly, Shame on you, secondly, its a highly unrealistic snowboarding game where you get a ridiculous amount of air, flip and spin an unbelievable amount of times, whilst taking the board away from your feet and doing some funky skateboard-esc tricks. Its a very unique game, where Amped and Shaun White games went down a slightly more realistic road (they are still a touch mad but they are games!) SSX went to the Xtreme!
To be fair, SSX took the right route on this, its unique and I love playing the game because its mad! The tracks also make it crazy! Racing through a city of tight turns, then jumping over a 50ft building is awesome! Learning the best routes and finding the secret routes gives the games replay value! If you haven’t played an SSX before I highly recommend buying SSX3 or SSX Tricky (if you have a ps2). These games are amazing, the A.I. can challenge you if you haven’t mastered the game, the tracks give you endless fun, you can challenge yourself to get higher scores, the possibilities are endless.
The reason I’m not recomending the most recent SSX is not because its not good, it just lacks the crazy tracks from the previous games!
Go and get an SSX game and get playing, hopefully I should have a Lets play with Alice soon too!

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Nintendo’s Investor’s Idea

 Repost from my Blogspot

Seth Fischer, a hedge fund investor in Nintendo wrote to the president of Nintendo: “Just think of paying 99 cents just to get Mario to jump a little higher.”  He also wants to push Nintendo into the Mobile realms of gaming, not for the gamers though, for the profits he will see afterward!

If you read a previous a previous blog of mine you will know about my displeasure toward microtransactions. I feel like if, and its a big if, Nintendo follow through with this the gaming world would turn away from Nintendo, which seems rather sad. This may seem small to the casual gamer, however, this would open the flood gates to Nintendo charging you in other games, want to pay £1 in a Pokemon game to capture your favourite pokemon?….. Exactly!

Happily Nintendo have previously said they aren’t keen on the venturing into the mobile industry and they aren’t looking toward free to play games either. I hope Nintendo will stay strong against their investors on this one, I feel like these investors have been playing candy crush too much and think that its the perfect game blueprint. Nintendo know better than this… I think!

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Titanfall Challenges

With Titanfall alive and kicking, I thought I would set some mini challenges for people to try and beat during their gameplay. Most of these are fun, different ways of playing the game. Have a go at them and look at the game a different way!

  1.  Rodeo as many titans as you can in succession (no touching the floor) I couldn’t get past 2 in the beta but its definitely do able
  2. Get a multi kill from the Titans nuclear destruct perk
  3. Get a double kill on a single wall run
  4. Don’t die in a game and escape
  5. Don’t die in a game and destroy the evac ship
  6. Eject from you titan straight onto rodeo-ing an enemy titan
  7. Hack multiple spectres at once… because you can!

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GTA V High Life

GTA V has received its newest update. The high life update went live early on the 13th of march and came alongside update 1.13.

The high life content brought new 4 new vehicles, a new gun, new apartments and clothing, the standard content that has been seen before. The most intriguing addition comes in the form on mental state which helps players distinguish between friendly players and players who are likely to kill you on sight. It works in a very simple way, map blip colors range between red (psycho) and fade pink, the eventually fade completely to white (peaceful).

Violent activity adds to the Mental State meter. Property damage (killing civilians or police, destroying cars) increases it very slowly. Player on player aggression will see your mental state meter quickly grow to full psycho.

Killing psycho players will gain you experience, so there is incentive to kill them if they come near you, as an added bonus, you don’t add to your mental state for killing psycho players. Killing peaceful players still gains no experience and bounty’s are still a large part of free play, though their map blip has changed to distinguish it against psycho players.

I really like the dynamic this addition has bought, the times of wondering how aggressive an approaching player are largely gone, there is potential to bring an us against them mentality in the free roam lobbies too.

All in all, Rockstar has done a great job with this update, along with the additional content they have improved the game. GTA online is still one of the most varied fun game on the market.

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Battlefield 4 Challenges

 Battlefield 4 is quickly becoming a very playable game, the developers have fixed most of the bugs and the frustrations of the release version are long behind us! I’m doing one for Battlefield 4 as the possibilities in the game are seemingly limitless! this is just a quick 5
  1. Get a road kill with a jet… Prepare to have a very, very bad game!
  2. Parachute from an air vehicle into a friendly chopper below you.
  3. The classic “Jihad Jeep” (C4 your jeep, drive toward a tank, jump out so the jeep will crash into the tank then blow the C4).
  4. Shoot someone’s mines whilst they are being placed
  5. Shoot a pilot out of a helicopter. Optional: Take it when it lands.
These are just a quick five challenges I thought of for now, if you have any challenge ideas put them in the comments below, they may come into a youtube video soon!

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Psychic Strangers

Psychic Strangers are an up and coming band based in Sheffield. If you’re a fan of indie rock n’ roll music then I have no doubt you will love these guys! Their music is varied and there is a song for everybody.

Check out their Soundcloud >>>here<<< seriously, you won’t regret it!

 

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DLC, is it always worth it?

Downloadable content or DLC has fast become the norm for most developers to bring to their games, in some cases this is great, bringing whole new worlds to a game that would previously be left to dust. In other cases, the DLC seems to bring limited extra content.

 

Borderlands 2 had one the the best DLC offers for the price, a season pass costing £40 got you 5 extra stories which were based in completely new areas! Each campaign was unique and bought extra items to the game aswell! The gameplay of each DLC was around 5 hours each of main missions and around 3 hours each for side missions. So for $40 you get around 40 hours of gameplay, theres a lot of bang for your buck here

Some DLC seems pointless however, The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion offered an extremely pointless DLC of horse armour… why on earth would anyone want this!? Paying £1.50 for something purely aesthetic seems a bit pointless, and really didn’t change the gameplay in anyvway! Pointless may be an understatement there.

Some of the more pointless DLC comes from racing games, paying a lot of money for new cars seems impractical considering that the big games Forza and Gran Turismo come with more cars than you know what to do with! I agree, some cars are so special that you cant help but feel that playing a game will be as close as you will get to driving it! Most of the cars though… not worth spending money on.

DLC Quest is a game that makes fun of Developers using DLC as a way to make money out of releasing their games early, in some ways it makes a really good point of some content which may be made out as “essential” but in reality is pointless. It also highlights the games that need a day one patch for it to be playable. *cough* skyrim *cough*

 For DLC to be worth while for single player games it should follow the borderlands method of DLC, new stories, new worlds, more content. I had a blast playing through Borderlands 2 DLC, it was fresh and offered more game instead of claiming to be a new game. Some small extras can be worthwhile if they offer a changeup in gameplay, however some games offer too much extra content and most of it could easily be released with the full game.

DLC will never go away, it just needs to be relevant and new, adding more to the game making me want to play it more!

 

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What Happened to Splitscreen Co-op Games

What happened to splitscreen Co-op games? Do you remember the days when all games came with a local co-op mode? Some games even played better when you played with someone else, some of my favourite gaming moments have come from playing split-screen co-op with a friend!

 I bought an Xbox One when it was released, I love it like bacon, its great, however! Theres an extreme lack of co-op games and games that are worth playing split-screen at all. The main exclusive co-op game was dead rising 3, which is a fantastic game however its co-op has been plagued by non stop issues with xbox ones party app (which sucks!)
I was never able to play dead rising with my friends because the party chat always caused problems. It frustrated me to the point of selling it, it wasn’t worth keeping after two completions. I also felt like the story was a secondary point, not too much of an issue as the game play was epic
Spartan Ops was the biggest disappointment for co-op, with only 6 levels available to play with your favourite buddy, the co-op was almost a waste of time, finished in around 25 minutes. Not cool Vanguard games!
A game that really should have local multi-player is Peggle 2,
Its game play is addictive, its so easy to play yet so difficult to master. It has an extensive library of levels and an on-line 4-player mode yet there is no way to play 1vs1 on the same Xbox… Why!? Have game developers forgotten their childhood gaming memories? Everyone played local multi-player games because there was no xbox live or PSN. This is the game that should have a local multi-player!
I must confirm though, that I love playing multi-player games online, playing shooter games against people who actually have a brain and will change tactics on the fly are much more fun than A.I. that you can walk up to give it a hug and then kill it.
I want to play games like halo, dead space 3 and gears of war, games that use the 2nd character and link him or her into the story. Gears of war did this perfectly, I felt very emotional at a certain point on the third game.
I don’t want developers to throw in split-screen multi-player as an afterthought, they need to start making games with the purpose to play with friends through a story, it makes it more gripping and the game becomes a lot more entertaining. Recently I’ve found myself playing single player modes just to get achievements and thats not how games should make me feel
 Online gaming has revolutionised the gaming industry, multi-player is great, however can we have games that are local co-op so we can bring people over to play games like we used to, PLEASE! Its a win win for both sides, your games would be better and we would enjoy them more!

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Free to Play Hell

Free to play games on mobile phones are quickly becoming the most popular games worldwide. This could be viewed as a major breakthrough for the gaming industry, free games equals more gamers which could make more serious gamers and possibly game developers.

The most popular free to play game over the past year has been candy crush saga… ugh! Firstly I want to point out that the developers (king) stole the idea of this game from an individual developer who created his version “candyswipe” in 2010. Following on from this there has been a legal debate about trademarks and its all complicated because its legal (sigh). Basically the big company is pushing the little guy around.

 

Candyswipe                    Candy Crush

 

Now for the main reason for this blog, free to play games are the greatest con in life, its branded on the app store/google play/app social as FREE. This seems great at first however it gets ruined by the game not exactly being playable if you don’t buy extra lives. When I buy a game i would like to play it for as long as I like, when I like! Candy crush wants me to buy lives or harass my friends into playing it, NO, not cool! When your friends stop giving you loves theres an option to buy lives… on this game that was meant to be free… thanks king. $0.99 seems cheap, but when a game was meant to be free it seems steep.

 Although i dislike candy crush, i have seen much worse for the free to play games, the best example for this is Dungeon Keeper which was a fantastic game for pc, when they brought it to phones however, they ruined it!

 In dungeon keeper you must dig out areas to create an area for monsters to live, you play against an A.I. in a strategy type of game, so speed is needed. if you try to dig out a block it will make you wait 24 hours till its done… it was instant in the PC game. You can speed it up using gems, and when you can buy 500 it seems like a lot… but not so! you use about 250 gems to instantly finish the dig, so each block is £1.50… Aparently the most popular option is 2,500 gems for £13.99, which will get you a total of 10 blocks dug out… Its definitely not worth £13.

Theres a simple alternative to this, pay for a full game and PLEASE don’t buy micro transactions, they are ruining the gaming industry as these are being placed into full games now too. You can buy the original PC game for around £7, it plays the same and will be more enjoyable and cheaper!

 Rant OVER!

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The Beauty of SSX Soundtracks

 What makes the SSX games work? Some say the whacky gameplay, some may say the artwork but everyone agrees the the soundtrack on these games is consistently fantastic. Taking the game that is very good and pushing it to being a classic. Its like when you actually go skiing or snowboarding, its great fun, but music makes everything better!

Everyone has the song that they remember each game for, the song that is in my head right now is Young Blood by Naked and Famous on the latest SSX. Its most likely how it started a game, its mixed in such a way that it gives you goose bumps as you are about to shoot down the mountain, well, thats what music does to you! I’m sure the most recent SSX would not be as good a game without the help of a fantastic soundtrack, and the best part about the music is that it remixes to you racing, and the accented “its tricky” will remind fans of the series of the ever popular SSX Tricky.

 

 

 

SSX 3 features a soundtrack of predominately remixed tracks, but when the original artists are the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Fatboy Slim and Yellowcard you know that the developers have been doing their music research in the best way possible. The music isn’t mainstream and that’s what makes it memorable, you can place your finger on where you heard that certain song which sparks nostalgia!

 

 

 

The point of this blog is basically to say that some games are remembered because their soundtracks make the game that much more memorable, everyone could identify the chilling sounds of Halo, yes its a very different piece of music, but it makes the game experience better. SSX has just done this in a much more high tempo way! And I love it!

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