Posts Tagged ‘xbox’

Top 5 Games of 2015

2015 is in the books here are my (with some help from Jord) top 5 games of 2015 (primarily on xbox)

5. Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5 just about warrants a spot on this list, particularly with the addition of forge being added in recently. The campaign I felt was more gripping than I expected and the multiplayer was ok but definitely needed more maps and game modes available to it (why can’t griff ball be on there?)

4. Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront gripped me straight away with amazing gameplay, graphics and sounds. If there was more content in Battlefront like the old games then we it could have been fighting for the number 1 spot. Until EA get a grip of themselves, stop making games to make large profits and make a game for the gamers. (its still pretty good for a money grabber though!)

3. Rare Replay

You get 30 games for the half the price of a new game, some of them you will never play but some of them like Banjo Kazooie and Perfect Dark are the greatest games ever made. There’s some very old arcade games which are near impossible, even with rewind! So if you used to play in arcades in the 80’s and wondered what happens after the first level in some games then Rare replay is the game for you.

2. Rainbow Six Siege

Possibly one of the most intense shooters you will ever play, Rainbow Six Siege completely changed from the previous Vegas games and became more of an standard FPS with tactics and slow gameplay making it extremely gripping and a must play! Please note that this game is best played with at least 2 other friends so you can co-ordinate attacks.

1. Fallout 4

Could it possibly be anything else? Fallout 4 reached its hype well with a huge map and seemingly endless distractions. Play this fast and apparently you can complete the main story in 2 hours. Play this like anyone else would and your game time will easily be into multiple days. If you haven’t played Fallout 4 yet, where have you been?

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Previous Blog: Star Wars Battlefront

Top Easter Eggs in Games

Video games are sometimes made famous by having brilliant secrets hidden throughout their worlds, however secrets seem to becoming few and far between.

Firstly the two BEST complete games for Easter eggs throughout

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

I could put Halo 1, 2, 3 and 4 in separetly but as I can roll them all into one, then why not! Halo’s easter eggs range from simple to find, to near impossible, ranging from the obvious writing on the wall like Meg and Rex to symbols on shells. Even the Skulls are techinically easter eggs, and that has become a staple of Halo since the second game! Halo has come such a long way that it even puts some of the easter eggs as achievements/trophies. Yes, easter egg hunting becomes rewarding! WIN WIN!

GTA V

GTA V has so many Easter eggs it’s a little bit mental. There are countless movie references ontop of multiple unique Easter eggs. GTA V has a large amount of alien Easter eggs starting right from the beginning under some ice, in the movie studios and multiple clues pointing toward a larger easter egg yet to be uncovered. Flying saucers can even be seen in single player after getting 100% completion along with a certain creature known as Bigfoot. You will easily stumble across easter eggs in GTA, just play the game.

Now for some of my favourites:

Saints Row 2: Giant Bunny

A rather fascinating and very eastery easter egg. swim out to a hidden island and swim around for a bit and suddenly a giant bunny will appear from the water! A rather random but cool experience! The bunny that comes up can be seen throughout the game in shops and is even see-able in full giant form in saints row 3 – see the ship in the restricted zone.

GTA IV: Statue of Happiness’ Heart.

GTA IV’s version of the statue of liberty is the statue of happiness on happiness island. The entrance to the inside of the statue is marked by a sign that says “no hidden content this way”. Go in through that doorway, climb the ladder and Bob’s your uncle theres a rather large heart infront on you. Note: you can’t kill it

Gears Of War 3 Golden Chicken

In Act 1-1, when you get to the deck area with the first COG Tag, there are four large cylindrical pipes on the sides of the area (two on either side). You can approach these and hit X to shout into them. Shout into all four to make a giant, fire-breathing golden chicken appear. Really.

Defeating the Golden Chicken on 4 Player Insane will also unlock a Cluckshot on this level.

Gears of war developers really like chickens I think!

GTA Vice City

Speaks for itself!

 

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Previous Blog: Children and Mature Video Games

Children and Mature Video Games

Children and video games, This has been quite a heavy topic the past few days, UK headteachers are now reporting children who play mature rated (15, 18 rated) games to the police. Parents could be found guilty of neglect for something that is, for the majority, a none issue in my eyes.

The letter from Nantwich Education Partnership  said;

“Several children have reported playing or watching adults play games which are inappropriate for their age and they have described the levels of violence and sexual content they have witnessed: Call Of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Dogs Of War and other similar games are all inappropriate for children and they should not have access to them.”

“If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game or associated product that is designated 18-plus we are advised to contact the police and children’s social care as it is neglectful.”

Video games can be violent, GTA V has some very violent missions such as torture. However don’t be mistaken, Rockstar in no way have wanted to promote violence through GTA V. There are very few people in the world who would play through the torture scene of GTA V and think, “that’s what I need to be doing with my life”. Unfortunately for the majority of gamers, these people do exist, however, I’d like to think of them as violent people that happen to play video games. You see, I am a person who has played GTA since I can remember, I even remember playing GTA 1 and 2! (I’m only 22) I am yet to get violent with someone, I have never struck someone or thankfully I have not been struck either, because I knew that video games were fake and real life has consequences, a very simple thing to learn in life that a surprising amount of people do not know.

On the front of sexual content, video games, for the most part carry very little sexual content compared to many other mediums. The Sun sort of got rid of page 3, but not quite. Gossip magazines have sections dedicated to the bedroom seemingly every week. Some TV shows very sexualised content, as do movies, and we all know how easy it is to find the bad things on the internet. Violence is films and TV has been accepted for as long as I can remember, why is no one complaining about violent films?

So why do video games get treated different?

Because the people that don’t play video games assume we get captured in a game so much that we become what the main character is. So playing GTA V means that there are 45 million people who are preparing bank hiests right now! I think the police should be more worried about that than children right now!

Here is a quick fact, I know of at least 50 people who I know played 18/mature rated games as children and I know none of them were violent when growing up.

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Previous Blog: Virtual Reality Headsets

Virtual Reality Headsets

2015 seems to be the year of virtual reality headsets being announced and released, the talks of the future of gaming being through virtual reality headsets seems very real, however, your standard setup should never have to worry!

Virtual headsets are cool, I have used an Oculus Rift at the Gadget Show Live with a development game that was basically just an exploration game of a small village. I started on the top floor of a house and when I walked down the stairs, my stomach dropped, its that immersive.  If you haven’t played a game using a virtual reality headset of any form then you can’t judge it. The Oculus Rift is a fantastic piece of kit, and the version I used was only a development kit. The room for improvement is high, with better screens and more accurate motion trackers being high on the list of necessary improvements, but the concept works great

Its strange that something that is, in theory, so simple; a headset with a screen for each eye with motion control. its taken till 2014/2015 for it to become something that is wanted by a lot of gamers. And to back up the demand, there are alot of new virtual reality headsets in development.

For Virtual Reality to work, games need to support the software. Just like games supporting 3d, Virtual Reality will need the same support. Happily, it seems like Virtual Reality has a lot of backing, considering Oculus Rift was a Kickstarter project. There are plenty of Youtubers who use Oculus Rift developer versions and give the company helpful feedback on the games that have support. Even better, the modding community has come in with some games and created mods that allow some games to support a virtual reality headset, which is really quite cool!

I look forward to having the possibility to own one too, but currently my PC will not work to well with it, I am in need of upgrading my PC before i consider getting into the Virtual Reality scene, but when I do, I know it will be something completely fresh and feel like a new wave of gaming.

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Previous Blog: The Power of Youtube

The Power of Youtube

I originally wrote this for Blockworks, but it needs to be shared more, mainly towards Nintendo!

The games industry has come a long way. The times of playing games on your own are way in the past and now just about everyone has access to online gaming. The uprising of online gaming has catapulted gaming from a ‘nerdy’ hobby, into the realms of the entertainment world, with biggest game development budgets rivalling those of the top Hollywood film budgets. gone are the days where you had to ask a friend about their in game progress, instead having the option to view their achievements, or even hop online to join them in a coop game

As the technical side of games has changed, so has the way in which we find out about new games. 2012 Google analysis shows that 95% of gamers turn to online video for entertainment and information. Developers and publishers of all sizes now use YouTube to reach out to fans. Rockstar games rocked the world with their first trailer for GTA V on youtube days after it was officially announced. That trailer currently has almost 38 million views, the hype surrounding new content reveals tagged with a highly respected game contributed to their record setting opening three days of sales over £1 Billion.

Developers have another brilliant source of marketing through the means of top gaming youtubers. In the most subscribed channel rankings 27 of the top 200 are gaming channels and 4 of these are media. Gaming on youtube is so large that the current number one subscribed channel is a gamer named PewDiePie with a modest 34 million subscribers, beating out Eminem, Rihanna and even One Direction.

Companies like Activision recognise the potential in these channels as a valuable form of free promotion. These companies work in tandem with gamers, offering them early access to the games and press events in order for them to show off the product to their online audience, generating increased views and advertising revenue for the YouTuber, and free promotion for the publisher. The rate at which we consume this content has boosted some YouTubers to celebrity status, with youtuber Ali-A securing himself a sponsorship deal with Monster Energy Drink, along with a hosting spot on Virgin Media’s new channel ‘The Snap’.

Youtube has completely changed the way we find out about gaming. Most people will now have a quick youtube of a game to get a feel for it before purchasing now. TV viewings are dropping, and youtube is a large reason for this. The demise of youtube looks to be now here in sight as it goes from strength to strength, more companies are investing into it and so it will continue to grow.

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Previous Blog: 5 Great Things on Dying Light

 

5 Great things on Dying Light

Dying Light Hard copies have been distributed around Europe a month after the release in North America and digitally. I have played it pretty much non stop since release, here are some of my favourite and least favourite aspects.

1: Free Running is King

Dying Light developers, Techland, could probably release a free running game that would compete with Mirrors Edge with the mechanics they have in place. Free running is possibly one of the most rewarding feelings in the game, when you get a really good building to building flow, nothing is better (and when you are being chased at night nothing is more necessary).

2: Night Time is Genuinely Terrifying

If you plan on being outside during the night in Dying Light then you best be prepared to run, everything is powered up and night and those pesky volatiles don’t help when they are patrolling the streets. If you get seen and a chase begins the best thing to do is run and make sure you have your UV light available.

3: The Weapon System Makes You Think

Unlike Dead Island, Dying Light has a more permanent weapon degradation system. In Dead Island you could fix any weapon as many times as you would like, Dying Light gives you a set number of repairs, and they can be used up surprisingly quick, so be careful with the better, more expensive weapons you have. (try to get the lucky repair skill in the survival tree, it will help you massively)

4: Co-op Rules Over Playing Alone

Playing Dying Light alone is all well and good, but playing with at least one other friend makes the experience fun. Yes it is a little disappointing that all the characters are the same and you have to change to make each other distinguishable, but its more fun running around causing havoc with others.

Along with that, the mini competitions like “kill the most zombies” and “secure the safe zone” add a little added extra to the game that you won’t get playing alone.

5: Being the Zombie is Hard

I can’t get my head around how to play as the zombie yet, but I know it will get easier as time goes on and I gain more skills. Be a zombie mode it great fun, it definitely makes the game seem harder on both sides but I can’t help but feel that when there are 4 players, it is basically impossible to win (if the players are mildly competent).

Here are just 5 reasons why Dying Light is fun, it is what Dead Island should have been and it is a genuinely good free running game alone, the best question is, if you haven’t played it yet, why not?

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Previous Blog: Final Fantasy IX

 

Day One Patch

Day one patches… a relatively new development in the world of gaming, we certainly never saw any of these of the Nintendo 64, games couldn’t even be patched! The introduction of games having online capabilities and consoles having internet connection may be one of the best and worst things that has happened to the gaming industry. Here’s why.

“Back in the day” games consoles didn’t even feature any form of online capabilities, this only really became standard on the PS3 and Xbox 360, although the Original Xbox did carry some update capabilities, it wasn’t fully utilised as most users did not have the internet to support it well and it wasn’t a necessity at the time.

The introduction of consistent updates and patches really started with the Xbox 360 and the generation of consoles that came with it. Online gaming became the norm, and with more people being online for gaming, the more developers could tweak and patch their games through gamer feedback, very good! It works because all games will carry a bug here and there that can now be ironed out, whereas this was not possible in the past.

For multiplayer games I think updates are required to perfect the balance in the game. Weapons are meant to be created equal, but one weapon always seems to be more equal than the rest, balancing games makes them much more fun! No one likes the “cheap” weapons that always pop up in games. (unless you use them)

Day one updates frustrate me a little, though I realise there use, the idea that a game needs a patch day one always worries me. It screams that the developers discovered an issue between production and release, and what do the people who don’t have internet do?

The reason this blog has come to mind is due to Evolve having around a 3gb update (varies for each platform) on day one, its slightly better that this game is online only so no one can miss it anyway and some of it was added through community feedback from the beta so thats a big thumbs up. But should it be acceptable that a game is releasing with stability issues? They may be instantly fixed, but Halo Master Chief Collection is showing that updates don’t always fix issues. My trust in games has been affected badly by Halo MCC, it’s a great game when it works, but it doesn’t work often, I have played a handful of matchmade games and that is it! Day one patches are okay, as long as the patch FIXES the issue.

I just want developers to release games that work from day one and not rely on patching it up as consumers find errors. But if patching on day one is what is required, if this is the best way to have the best experience, I can deal with it, I’d just like to see it less

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Previous Blog: Broken Games

 

 

Broken Releases

The current gen/ next gen, whatever its called now days, is supposed to be leading innovation with better, faster games, but there has been a number of games that have had calamity releases and made many gamers very frustrated.

Broken games should not happen, and considering its 2015 there is no excuse for not testing your games. Battlefield 4 seemed to start the trend off, even after a beta! The game crashed, lagged, you would struggle to join games, you could never join with friends in a squad it was generally pretty damn screwed up. To make it worse they took multiple updates (small and large) to get the game to state that worked efficiently. The amount of time and man power this took meant that premium members did not get what they signed up for as map packs were delayed due to more of the team fixing the game rather than expanding it. Dice have done themselves no favours with fans and shareholders, getting in trouble for launching the game too early.

Halo Master Chief Collection is the game of which the developers didn’t need to do too much, yet still managed to screw it up pretty well. Four months down the line and the game is still not fixed, matchmaking is inconsistent and joining friends can still be a mild nightmare. This has been pretty frustrating, I have still only played a handful of matchmade games on halo due to the process being full on broken. Its a shame that Halo messed up, its a great series that has been very tarnished due to the poor launch and attempted fixes on a REMAKE of old games.

Most recently is the developers of Dying Light, “TechLand”, having a “manufacturing issue” with the game and therefore only North America have gotten hard copies of the game. Yeah sure the game is available for digital download, but a lot of gamers prefer to collect their games and have a physical copy. Whats more, the hard copy is delayed a whole month, yeah you read that right, a month to produce more discs… I think Techland need to have a serious look at their manufacturing process because that is piss poor. On the lighter note, Techland have issued all of the buyers who have had their copy delayed all the DLC for free which is a nice gesture.

Developers seems to consistently be screwing up in different phases of creating a game, and to make it worse, it seems to hit more triple A developers rather than indie developers. I have thought that big game developers have based their games around money rather than making great games, ubisoft are great at pumping out the same stuff and they still screwed up massively with AC: Unity (a 40gb update didn’t fix it fully). I must stop now, its been too much of a rant.

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Previous Blog: Evolve Beta Thoughts

Evolve Beta Thoughts

The Evolve beta finished last week and after some thought I can happily say it was a really good surprise. The 4v1 game play idea intrigued me but before any game play I thought it would never work. boy I was happily surprised!

My initial fear during my first 4v1 online game was that the monster would be either severely overpowered or massively underpowered. I can happily say that after a bit of a feeling out game to start, games were very balanced and predictably unpredictable, depending on how your monster player… plays. I had a small issue with levelling up a monster, you have to stop and go through a sub menu system select what upgrade you want, then you can start moving. Its fine to those who will always have a set plan on what to do, but for the casual gamer this can take up a lot of time. It lead to my first victory as we trapped the monster when it was stood still upgrading. A simple fix could be an auto upgrade feature or button so you could at least move.

The tactics involved in Evolve is really great, the game is much better with friends as communication is the key to winning. splitting into 2, 2’s is the perfect way to go as you will never catch the monster if you just follow it. The variation between each class is great, it works in a 2 support and 2 attack type of way and its really fun to find the best way to play. Each has their unique weapons and abilities .

Some may say there wasn’t enough load out customisation, I didn’t see this, it was a beta and i thought a lot more was available than given at the time (and even that was enough). You can ruin a game by putting too much in, I felt like the second monster was too annoying. It was the only time that the time limit was reached on a game I played, I rarely played as the monster so I didn’t play it, it either went invisible, or teleported, it was annoying, and quite boring for most of the game, we probablyonly saw the monster 4 times the whole time!

My main point on Evolve will be, play with friends, its so much better when you play as the 4 rather than the 1. The concept of the game works really well, its balanced and enjoyable. I hope that evolve has plenty of varied maps. I think this could be a great game, I’m happy to say this as I really thought it was looking like a big budget flop!

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Previous Blog: Abe’s Oddworld: New n’ Tasty

 

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