Friday, 29 April 2011

Gaming news: 29/4

This is a bit late, but the PSN was put offline last Wednesday after it was hacked. What you need to know is that your personal details (Whatever you gave to PSN when you signed up) have been stolen. If you had credit card information on the PSN it may have also been stolen. Sony have said in their Q&As that there is no evidence that the encryption that holds the details has been broken but you should still check your account regularly and report anything that is unusual. I can’t actually post the Q&As because of copyright reason but I have posted a link to the Playstation blog so you can read them and stay up to date with the latest. The PSN is being rebuilt and Sony have said that they hoped to restore some features within the week. This has been raising many discussions about the PSN being free and "you get what you pay for" I'll be talking more about that in a later article.

In other news, the Gears of War 3 beta will be free and available for all X-box Live gold members around Monday May 2 in America. I'm not sure if Australians will get it on May 3 or also May 2 because of the different time zones. The beta will finish on May 15 so make sure you get in there and have a play or you will have to wait until around October.

Last week Nintendo announced that they are in the production of a new console that they have codenamed “Project Café”. Not much has been revealed when it comes to what the controllers or the actual console will look like but there have been several rumours that the controllers will have dual analogue sticks and a LCD touch screen. There is also talk that you will be able to stream games to the controllers and play them as a portable device. This sounds a little like the Gameboy to Gamecube connection type thing. Nintendo have said that the graphics will be better then the PS3’s. Could this mean that Nintendo are going to focus on more of a hardcore gaming style rather than the family/ mini-game style games of the Wii?

For this next console to be successful I think Nintendo will have to start making new games instead of just relying on third-party games. What I mean by this is that Nintendo have to stop making updated remakes of older games. Some people are even getting bored with the likes of Mario and Zelda. But in my opinion it’s these characters that make Nintendo who they are.

Nintendo have said that ‘Project Café’ will be playable at E3 in June. April is nearly over and we have heard nothing about the next Call of Duty game. I think they will announce it next month and maybe get some gameplay ready for E3.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has had some patches done and is now 4.1. The 4.1 patch is called ‘Rise of the Zandalari’. I’ve never played WoW, which makes me one of a small minority of gamers. Cataclysm is the 3rd expansion for the series. The expansions are optional but are recommended as they allow you to access new areas and advance your character further.

Mortal Kombat (US: M    Europe: 18+) and Portal 2 (US: E10+    AUS: PG    Europe: 12) were the big releases this week. Mortal Kombat wasn’t released in Australia because the classification board decided it was too violent for an MA 15+ rating. This brings up more discussion about giving Australia an R18+ rating. We forget that adults play video games too. I’m sure they would love to play this game and a lot of other games that don’t get classified too.

That’s all for this week. Happy Gaming.

-Check out IGN, stay up to date with all the latest games and news:
-Stay updated with the PSN:
-World of Warcraft:
-You can contact me at

Monday, 25 April 2011

Battlefield: Play4Free review

Platform: PC
Release: Out now
Players: Online only (32 players)
Rating: ESRB- T
           PEGI- 16+

Minimum Hardware Requirements
Operating system: Windows XP or Windows Vista
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz
RAM: 512 MB (1 GB on Windows Vista)
Video card: 256 MB, Pixel shader 2.0, DirectX 9.0c
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
Hard Drive space: 1 GB
Internet connection: 256 kbit

Battlefield: Play4Free is an online FPS by EA games. The game is free, as the title suggests, and is currently an open beta. As many of you may have guessed, Battlefield: Play4Free’s game play is similar to that of Battlefield’s. I’m not sure how much time EA will actually put into this game because I’m sure that Battlefield 3 would be number 1 on the agenda. I’ve never played a Battlefield game but have seen it being played. The Battlefield series is one of the best war simulation games out and I think Battlefield 3 will rival CoD once it is released.

B:P4F’s game play doesn’t change much compared to the other Battlefield games. You create a soldier and choose what class you want him to be then join a match. The classes are; Assault, Medic, Engineer and Recon. The Assault class carries an assault rifle and has the ability to supply team mates with ammo. The medic carries a LMG and can heal team mates. The Engineer carries a RPG and submachine gun and has the ability to repair vehicles. The Recon class has a sniper rifle and uses a motion sensor to show enemy locations to their team mates. They also have claymore mines to set traps.

On the map there are various vehicles that players can operate. There are tanks, helicopters and speed boats, just to name a few. One of the maps can be a real pain if you are without a vehicle because people jump in a plane or helicopter and bomb you from above. And unless you are an Engineer with a RPG, you can’t do anything about it. I was actually surprised by the amount of vehicles on the maps. Sometimes there were about 5 tanks firing at each other. This game excels other games in war simulation and FPS mainly because of what it looks like when you are driving a vehicle. The first time I jumped in a car I was amazed. The reason I was amazed was because the view you get is the windscreen. You can move your head to look around but while driving you stay in the First Person view.

The HUD shows you which button to press for each weapon/tool you are carrying, which was a big help. There is no kill cam or even a moving camera when you die. All that happens is you get a front view of the person who killed you. It’s a shame that there is only one game type. The creators said this new game type stops campers, but it doesn’t. All you have to do in one of the maps is capture the command post and then station some snipers and a medic on the roofs. There are only 2 maps in the game as well so if you don’t like a particular map then you aren’t in luck because every second game will be on it.

Your soldier gains XP for loads of things in B:P4F. Kills, healing, repairing, assists and tracer assists are just some of the
many ways to earn XP. You even earn XP every time your bullet hits an enemy. When you level up you gain 1 training point. You use training point to upgrade skills and learn new ones, depending on what class you are. There are quite a few skills to develop and it will take you a while to unlock them all. While competing in matches you gain in game currency. You can also purchase Battle Funds with real money. As with most free online shooters, when you buy guns you only get them for a certain amount of time. With Battle Funds you can buy guns to own forever. With normal currency you can only have them for a maximum of 3 days before you have to buy it again.

The default controls for B:P4F can make your hand sore after a while. To crouch you have to hold ctrl. This gets very annoying when you are trying to walk without being seen. It would be good if they added an option that allows you to stay in crouch with just one press of the ctrl button. You use the mouse to aim down the sights and shoot, just like most other FPS. You use the numbers to select weapons and tools. The bad thing about this is that it gets difficult to melee people. When you select the knife button you don’t hold the knife, you use it straight away. This gets tricky in mid combat. This is the same with grenades. Countless times I nearly blew myself up because I forgot that pressing 6 (my grenade button) threw the grenade straight away. But other then that the controls are set out pretty good.

Final Comments:
You don’t need a fast computer to play this game. My computer is can’t play most PC games because it is only has a Celeron 1.66GHz CPU. But this game ran fairly well if I turned down the graphics. The game is fairly balanced but needs more maps and game types if it is to become successful. This is a great game to play if you want a change from CoD and Halo before Battlefield 3 comes out. The teams need to be a little more balanced though. Sometimes a team has no medics and about 7 Recon soldiers.




Sunday, 24 April 2011

Upcoming reviews

Hi readers. Because I don't have the money to purchase the latest games that often the reviews I do will probably be about older games. Anyway...

Upcoming reviews:
- Battlefield: Play4Free       PC
- Portal 1                           PC/360/PS3 (once I finish the game)

Upcoming events:
-I'll try and find some more info on the next CoD game and the WII 2/ project cafe.

Happy Gaming.

Friday, 15 April 2011

WWE All stars Review

Platforms: 360, PS3, Wii, PSP
Rating: PG
Release date: Out now

Players: 1-4

The WWE has been around for awhile now (and by awhile I mean at least 50 years) but nothing has really changed. Each year a new game comes out with up to date rosters and events. There are slight changes and andvances each year but the core gameplay has remained. So when THQ release a game called WWE All stars no one thinks that much differently about it. I’m pretty sure most people who haven’t seen or played the game think it is just another wrestling game. WWE All stars is definitely not just another wrestling game. The first thing you have to do is disregard everything you know about wrestling before you continue reading.

WWE All stars is a multi-platform game developed by THQ San Diego. It is nothing like any WWE game that has been released. The moves are exadurated and the wrestlers have been given an build that makes them look like action figures. This isn’t a bad thing though. The moves that the wrestlers pull off are exadurated but amazing to watch. For example, while playing the trial I had access to only 2 of the 31 superstars in the game (there will be several downloadable wrestlers too). I watched in amazement as Rey Mysterio jumped from the floor to a turn buckle and then jumped about 10 meters in the air before slamming into me and knocking me to the ground. The impacts are huge and the small shockwaves that occur when the wrestlers hit the ground after being hurled across the ring help to give you a feel of how powerful the moves are. The moves are definitely key reason why this game is so fun.

The gameplay is much faster than other Wrestling games aswell. The first time I got knocked down I was expecting a some what long wait before I got back up. But my wrestler got straight up like nothing had happened. As I continued through the match my character took more damage and stayed down for a slight bit longer but this was still quicker than normal. There is no ref in the ring so you can’t get disqualified by accidentally hitting him (or purposely hitting him). And to get disqualified normally you actually have to do 3 illegal things. This means you can grab a chair and hit your opponent a couple of times and not be disqualified. The same game types from older games have been kept. This shouldn’t disappoint though because the added craziness of this game will always keep you coming back. There is also a game mode called ‘Path of Champions’. This is practically the story mode of the game. There are 3 stories to complete; Undertaker, Randy Orton and D-Generation X. I won’t go into much detail on them because I don’t want to spoil the story. The cut scenes look spectacular. There is also create a superstar and another mode called ’Fantasy Warfare’. I’m not sure what this mode is but I think you relive some classic matches from the WWE.

Those who are familiar with WWE rules don’t have an advantage in this game because most of them don’t exist. You can keep your opponent in the corner for as long as you want (I even had my opponent hanging upside down), there are no rope brakes and no count out. Another different feature in this game is the health bar. Now I bet you’re thinking “A health bar in a wrestling game?” Yes, there is a health bar. The health bar is there because it is possible to win most matches by K.O. OR pin. A warning does come up on the screen when you are in danger of being knocked out. There are also plenty of reversal opportunities. One minute you have your opponent in a grapple and are about to slam him to the ground, the next he has reversed it and you are the one being slammed. You can even reverse a move at certain points throughout the move. Which means sometimes you can get a reversal just before you get slammed. There are also 3 levels of difficulty to play on and 6 Arenas to unleash hell in. The gameplay in WWE All stars is a welcome change to a very repetitive series.

The controls in WWE All stars are very simple. The face buttons are used from strikes and grapples. The triggers and bumpers for sprinting and reversals. The Left trigger is a key button in this game as it is used to pin, climb turnbuckles, get out of the ring and get weapons. This can be very annoying when you are standing next to the ring trying to grab a weapon from under the stage. It took me countless tries to grab the weapon because I kept getting into the ring instead of searching for a weapon. Other than that problem the control scheme is great. It is similar to the original controls of the older games.

One of the things that most people don’t think makes a difference in video games is the music and sounds. The music and sounds of a video game make the game seem realistic and in most cases, better to play. The only music you really hear in WWE All stars is the entrance music for the superstars. This isn’t a bad thing though. Who doesn’t love listening to their favourite WWE superstar’s entrance music while cruising the menus? The sounds and commentary in this game are very accurate aswell. What I mean by accurate is the fact that when you get slammed into something, like a turnbuckle, it makes the sound you would expect it to make. And the crowd reacts perfectly to what is happening in the ring. The commentary is brilliant and the voices of Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross call the match precisely.

Final Comments:
You can get a demo from the X-box live marketplace if you want to test the game out first (it might be in the Playstation store aswell). WWE All stars is great fun for wrestling fans and non wrestling fans alike. It is a much needed change to the WWE video game series. The high powered, out of this world moves gives this game a sense of creativity and really introduce the ‘anything is possible’ saying into WWE. WWE All stars will provide hours of great fun and entertainment for you and your friends.

Rating: 8.5/10


Saturday, 9 April 2011

Minecraft gets release date!

Minecraft has finally got a release date. Notch, the creator of Minecraft, wrote in his blog that they planned to release the game on 11-11-11. He said that it wouldn't be much of a release, it would just be a reason to take away the 'beta' label. He said Minecraft would still be updated as usual.

For all those poor gamers who don't know what Minecraft is, Minecraft is a sandbox game for the PC and Mac. You get spawned in a world that is filled with 8bit blocks. Even the animals and monsters are 8bit. There are endless possibilities in this world. Create a roller coaster, your dream house, or just explore every nook and cranny of the world. The main concept in Minecraft is that the only limit is your imagination. the world is said to be 8 times the size of the Earth so there will always be places to explore. Every time you start a new world it is generated differently from the last. In one world might have loads of forests and caves to explore (or create) and another could just have a snowy open field.
Creeper coming for player

The main idea in Minecraft is to get wood. You get wood by walking up to a tree and holding the left mouse button to cut it down. With wood you can make pickaxes, swords etc. These tools helps you find other resources that you use to create more things. But once it hits night time you want to be inside some kind of house or shelter (which you build) because monsters come out. The 3 monsters in Minecraft at the moment are zombies, Skeletons and Creepers. The Zombies just run around and attack you with melee, the Skeletons shoot arrows at you and the Creepers blow up if they get within one square of you. There has been no word of more mobs (monsters and animals) being added but who knows what to expect.

Minecraft also features multiplayer. The servers aren't up yet but Mojang has released the software on their website for people to create their own servers so they can play with their friends. I've been in several multiplayer games and they are great fun. Playing Minecraft is much more fun with friends. You can do the same things as you could in single player, just with more people. The servers get more lagged the more people there are, but that is only natural. I'm not sure what is going to happen with the multiplayer once the game is officially released.

Minecraft is currently in beta 1.4_01. It is 25% off during the beta period. You can buy the game now for approximately $20 AUD. When you buy the game in beta you get the game as it is right now and the full version once it is released. Be quick get Minecraft before 11-11-11 to save.

Seeing as this was kind of a review as well... I give Minecraft 9.5/10. It is a great game that has been developed from a simple idea. The possibilities are endless and I can't wait til 11-11-11.

For more info visit:

By Nathan

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

The Call of Duty franchise is expected to be expanded yet again with an official announcement possibly coming this month (April). It will be the 8th game in the franchise. There are rumours that the game is to be a prequal of the first Modern Warfare game. Call of Duty is owned and published by Activision but have been developed by about 10 different companies. The first game was released on October 29, 2003.

Some of the more known games of the series are Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, which were developed by Infinity Ward. The most recent game in the series is CoD Black Ops. You can find a Call of Duty game on pretty much every current console. Black Ops was the best-selling video game in the U.S. last year. Black Ops was developed by Treyarch and brought back the much loved Zombies mode from World at War.

Back to the main topic- Modern Warfare 3

As I said earlier, Modern Warfare 3 hasn’t officially been announced or given a release date. But most sources have predicted a November 2011 release. Sledgehammer games are said to be working with Infinity Ward to produce the single player and Raven software is said to be working on the “online-multiplayer elements”. I headed over to Sledgehammer games’ website and clicked a few links, ( Scroll down to the bottom and click the box with Call of Duty emblem), which revealed that they were working on a Call of Duty FPS (First person shooter) game. It said more details would be coming soon. We can assume that this game is Modern Warfare 3.

Raven Software, who are supposedly doing the online- multiplayer part of MW3, are no strangers to FPS’s either. They are the guys behind Soldier of Fortune (PC) and another FPS game, Singularity(PC, 360, PS3) , was named the best FPS of E3 2009. Raven Software has developed a lot of their titles for Activision. Quake 4 ( Windows, Mac, Linux, 360) is yet another FPS developed by Raven Software. So as you can see this company has plenty of experience when it comes to FPS’s.

On a side note… I have heard people talking about MW3 being an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) . Firstly, it would have to be an MMOFPS which seems impossible, although I heard rumours that Bungie, the team behind the Halo series, is in the midst of creating one. Also, if you once again head over to Sledgehammer games’ website, they have said that they are producing a FPS not an MMO.

The reason why the Call of Duty series is so huge in the gaming world is the fact that the games are mulit-platform. Which means if you have an Xbox 360, Playstation 3 etc. you can play this game. There is so much debate between Halo fans and Call of Duty fans as to which is better. The fact is, this will never be decided. You can’t possibly compare two games and find a winner. Who knows how popular Halo would be if it wasn’t owned by Microsoft?

To summarise…

-Keep your ears and eyes peeled for an official release this month.

-MW3 isn’t going to be an MMO as far as I know.

-Infinity Ward is teaming up with Sledgehammer games to produce the single player portion of MW3.

-Raven Software, who have tons of experience with FPS’s, are probably working on the online- multiplayer.





By Nathan

Friday, 8 April 2011

Xbox 360 Kinect

I know it's a bit late but today I got a chance to play the Xbox 360 Kinect. For those of you who don't know the Kinect is a full body camera for the Xbox 360. For those who are thinking it is like the EyeToy for the Play Station, you are completely wrong. I must admit I had pretty low expectations going into the trial but after about 10 minutes of playing my opinion had changed.

To put it simply, the Kinect uses a continuously- projected Infrared light to read 3D scenes. The Kinect is simply a really cool webcam! It is described as controller free gaming. It has a built in microphone for voice recognition and other activities like headset-free party chat over Xbox-live. The most amazing thing with Kinect would have to be it's ability to see who is actually playing and who isn't. What I mean by this is that when we were trailing the game there were about 15 of us in the room. The majority of us could be seen in the background but never prevented the Kinect from recognising who was actually playing the game. It also helps by telling the user(s) whether they need to move into the camera's range. It gives directions to the user(s) telling them to either move left, forward, back etc. so that the camera can see them. You also don't have to adjust the camera for height because the camera calibrates and has the ability to move to get the player in the camera.

The Kinect has made it much easier to get multiple people in the range of the camera at once. Some of you might remember the how the EyeToy could really only have one person on screen at once and with two it was really difficult. With the Kinect there is plenty of room for two or three people to fit on the camera.

There are quite a few games out at the moment for Kinect with a lot still to come. From the look of the games, a lot of them are mini game type games. At the trial we were playing Kinect Sports. The standout for this title would have to be the boxing event. You hold your hands up as the boxing gloves and try to knock your opponent to the ground any way you can. Once the game is over you can look at footage that the Kinect camera has taken throughout the event. It was quite funny watch the recordings of us frantically trying to swing in every direction hoping to land some hits and score a knockout. In the soccer game the Kinect even picked up what foot the user(s) was kicking with.

Kinect Joyride is coming out soon here in Australia and there is a demo on Xbox live if you have it. The game seems like a racing game where you use your hands as a steering wheel. This looks like a really fun game to play.

The Kinect is a really great idea and there has been lots of thought put into it. The gameplay is smooth and the kinect does a great job with accurate movements. The games that are currently out have done a great job utilising the Kinects functions. I think we can expect great things from this device in the future. I'm hoping to buy a Kinect within the year so I can do some game reviews on it.

Final Score: 8/10

My first blog

Hi readers.

This blog will be about Video Games. I will give my opinion about certain games and events. I will review some games that I have (They might not necessarily be games that are coming out because I don't have access to them but they will be from current platforms, or old ones if you guys want.) I'll be giving you guys some of the latest news and other stuff about video games. You can e-mail me at if you want to ask me any questions or request I do a review on a certain game.

That's all for now guys. Happy gaming!