Wednesday, 30 December 2015

First Impressions: Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor

I got this game for Christmas after having my eye on it for a while. I was really interested by the nemesis system and the general themes of Lord of the Rings and wanted to see how they were carried over to this game. Here are my thoughts but be warned, one does not simply ignore the initial story line spoilers in this First Impressions.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Review No. 117 Gunpoint - PC (12+)

Strong Points:
It has very 'well thought through' feel to it
Great humour
Nice mechanics
Genuine fun
Perfect level of challenge
Level editor with full Steam workshop support

Weak Points:
Little control over course of events in story
Story progression and gameplay felt too separate
Story Mode is the only mode
Sub-quests have little influence in anything, they are just a source of cash

Sunday, 27 December 2015

App Review No. 95 Sonic Dash

Strong Points:
Integration of lots of characters i.e. Silver or Rouge
Rare/Purchasable Currency (Red Rings) are obtainable easily enough without micro-transactions

Weak Points:
2 bosses, it gets repetitive
Bosses are too easy
Dr. Robotnik is called 'Eggman'
Now SEGA are only making apps, why is this not better?!?
You randomly dance in mid-air with no legitimate explanation other than "RINGS, YAY!"
Daily reward is hard to claim
Menu is not very accessible


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Review No. 116 Star Wars Lighsaber Escape

Strong Points:
Fun
Free
Technologically Impressive
Phone works well as a Lightsaber
Equipment available for use
No download required

Weak Points:
Bad wifi can cause Lightsaber to disconnect
No real way to attack the Storm Troopers
A bit short (but this is expected)
Textures of some things are a bit too low resolution to be seen up close.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Film Review No. 2 The Good Dinosaur (PG)

Strong Points:
Stunning set pieces, amazing animation and (really) great graphics
The old Pixar emotion
Humorous
Good voice performances
Touching story
Powerful music
Fully fleshed out main characters

Weak Points:
The first act seems to just be a transition from set piece to set piece
Side characters seem to be there just for the sake of a joke sometimes
The violence is sometimes a bit too in your face for a children's movie
The main dinosaur's colour scheme seems a bit out of place with the rest of the designs

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Film Review No. 1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12+)

Strong Points:
CGI was astounding
Superb set pieces
Great acting from the leads
Lots of references to the original trilogy
New weapons for the Storm Troopers!
Humorous
Awesome sound and music
Multi-layered with enough action to keep kids interested and enough darker themes to keep adults thinking
Some bits were very unpredictable

Weak Points:
Some bits were predictable
The rest of the cast were overshadowed by the two mains
If you think about it, the story is actually extremely dark for a 12...
Too short
Some references seemed to be shoved in just to be there
No Senate hearings or Trade Blockades!!!! (Maybe... I just don't know what I'm allowed to say anymore! #spoilers)

Sunday, 13 December 2015

First Impressions: Just Cause 3

I am writing this post for one single reason. Why? Just Cos... Wow, that pun has been used too much. Anyway, boarding the hype train early, I pre-ordered the collector's edition of the game in August/September after playing Just Cause 2 and thoroughly enjoying it. Booting up the game a day late due to other commitments and the hype being close to breaking point, I started playing. Just cos!  

Saturday, 5 December 2015

First Impressions: Destiny

Destiny is an MMOFPS by name, but to be honest it's an entirely new genre. It's a PvE MMO, but has a PvP mode, but it's not really an MMO as the servers are kinda small.... it's hard to define. That doesn't stop it from being fun though.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - December 2015 - Kratos - God of War

Video Game Character of the Month
December 2015
Kratos
God of War
Overview:
I am Kratos! The God of War! Well, not exactly but I'm @&"*} well close. You dare face me mortal! Oh, an award. For me? Thank you very much, I have always wanted this honour. I mean... Everyone die for I am Kratos! *angry rambling ensues*. Now for some information on Kratos:

Saturday, 21 November 2015

PC Building: Week 12 - Benchmarking

It's been 11 months since I officially started this project on my DofE blog, but I realised that I never got around to testing my PC! Here are the benchmark statistics from it:

Thursday, 19 November 2015

App Review No. 94 Thomas Was Alone

Strong Points:
Characters have a real sense of personality (despite being rectangles)
Quirky, loveable graphics
Good gameplay
Good music
Good story

Weak Points:
A bit short
Can be frustrating

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

First Impressions: Final Fantasy VI (mobile version)

I know we don't normally do first impressions for apps but it's a port of a Final Fantasy game so I thought I would make an exception. I've played 40 or so minutes of the game and have been impressed with the transition to mobile overall - after I got over the fact that I was playing a proper console game on my phone. Oh, how times have changed.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - November 2015 - Tidus - Final Fantasy X

Video Game Character of the Month
November 2015
Tidus
Final Fantasy X


Overview:
No, please don't... Just don't do it, please... Don't laugh!!!
And now for a bit of info on, well actually nobody really speaks his name:


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Top 5 - Creepy Pokémon

For Halloween I thought I would do a creepy top 5. However, I'm not very good at the whole 'terrify yourself for the fun of it' routine so here is my top 5 creepy pastas Pokémon!

First Impressions: Global Candy Cup Halloween Game - Google Doodle

I joined the hot-headed red team first and set out to collect as much candy as possible, while chanting our motto 'Better than the rest'. It didn't take long to get used to the controls (press space to go up, let go to fall down. So the Devil Incarnate, basically) but, even so, it wasn't long before I felt the cool sting of bat claws to the face. Expecting death, I let go of the controls, only to find that hitting an obstacle merely prevented my candy collecting skills for a little while rather than sending me to the great Jack o Lantern in the sky.



Friday, 30 October 2015

(Long) Comments: Golden Joysticks 2015

The annual awards for everything gaming was on today, and while I didn't manage to watch the ceremony live, I did manage to catch the awards. So. Here they are!:

Thursday, 29 October 2015

First Impressions: Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below

Being Dragon Quest fans and after first playing Hyrule Warriors and thoroughly enjoying that as well as seeing a 12cm Slime plushie in the rewards, we pre-ordered the Slime Collectors edition. So far, the game has equal charm and frustration in its massive branches and roots.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

First Impressions: Rome: Total War

I got this game on a sale (before EGX) as I have wanted to play a game in the series for a long time. I tried loading it up and... It crashed. Supposedly the game couldn't access the right Directx and refused to run so I turned the game off and moved on, resigned to the fact that I wouldn't be able to play the game. That is, until I went to EGX, played Total War: Warhammer and realised that the games are actually pretty good. With renewed determination I tried to fix this broken game and rebuild it to its former glory (much like Rome itself).

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Review No. 115 Alan Wake - PC (16+)

Strong Points
Graphics - Great looking and focused to fit the game's atmosphere
Story - Amazing!
Story-telling - Beautiful combined with great voice-actors, narrating, cut-scenes and more
Voice-Actors and their characters - Fits the characters just perfectly, and the characters themselves are more than likable
Game-play - The game-play is a one-of-a-kind, yet it isn't. When you combine all of these (and more) it gets very addicting and fun.
Light/Darkness - Plays a BIG role in this game and its story! And hey, who doesn't like to use a flashlight as weapon?

Weak Points:
Story - While the story is amazing, it CAN and WILL get confusing at times (not necessarily a bad thing)
Facial-Animations and faces - When it's not one of those "real-looking" cut-scenes the faces look good, don't get me wrong on that, but they do also look a bit... weird, ya know?
Difficulty - Even on the normal difficulty setting it can be hard and you might have to restart from your previous save point a few times.
Lagging - If your computer isn't "good" it most likely will lag a lot just like it did for me, will not destroy the game's top-score, though.
Ammunition - This is one of those games where you'll rarely have only a few shots left in your pistol or shotgun or whatever it might be. At least I myself faced this "problem" myself.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

First Impressions: Total War Warhammer

One of the games that I got a chance to play at EGX was Total War Warhammer. After having played Total War Arena earlier in the day and being slightly familiar with the Warhammer lore (I'm more of 40k fan but, anyways), I knew a bit more of what to expect (and the tutorial helped quite a bit as well). What followed was 17 minutes of flanking, charging and retreating. It was brilliant.

Monday, 19 October 2015

First Impressions: Super Mario Bros. 3 and NES

I got to play on a classic NES console at EGX, which was awesome, along with Super Mario Bros. 3. Sadly, I got on the game quite late on in the day, so most levels were already completed. I was thrown into World 8 and couldn't seem to enter any levels, so, instead I proceeded to traverse from warp pipe to warp pipe, hopelessly alone in the castle. That is until, I found the level I was looking for all along.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Comments: Is a Hybrid NX a Good Thing?

As most of you may well have heard, Nintendo announced their next dedicated home console, codenamed the NX, a few months back, in response to their new partnership with mobile games giant DENA. A few things have already been rumored about the NX...

Saturday, 17 October 2015

First Impressions: Xenoblade Chronicles X

The last game that we played at EGX 2015 was Xenoblade Chronicles X for the Wii U. A sequel to the critically acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii and 3DS, this game is massive in all aspects. From the world, and the monsters, to the combos and cut-scenes this game is big. And good. Don't forget good.

Monday, 12 October 2015

First Impressions: Star Wars Battlefront Open Beta

I downloaded the beta on my PS4 due to it being Star Wars. Personally, I thought it was going to be okay, probably a Battlefield clone with a couple of new mechanics and, most importantly, need PS Plus (like the Battlefield Hardline beta). Thankfully, I was wrong. Oh so wrong.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

First Impressions: Sonic Adventures/Sonic & Knuckles

I played two Sonic games in the replay section while at EGX, one of them was fast paced, 2D mania (&Knuckles) while the other was fast-paced, 3D confusion (no Knuckles here). These are my first impressions on the two games.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Rant No. 7: ESL's Hosting - a Big CS:NO!

So CS:GO eSports are now becoming very big things. Tournaments are getting funded by Valve. Millions of views watch on Twitch and in game. But what is actually set by Valve? And what is set by other companies such as ESL, MLG, Cevo, Faceit and Dreamhack to name a few?

Friday, 2 October 2015

First Impressions: Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

I got Mario Tennis for the 3DS a while a go and was pleasantly surprised by it and, as such, I have kept tabs on any developments in the Mario Tennis franchise. Ultra Smash for the Wii U is the next installment in this franchise and I was fortunate enough to play some at EGX 2015. Here are my I thoughts on the Mario themed sports game.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - October 2015 - Inklings - Splatoon

Video Game Character of the Month
October 2015
Inklings
Splatoon


Overview:
I walk down a seemingly empty street, brandishing my gun as I look for my next target. The sun shines brilliantly, reflecting off of the multicolored liquid covering the floor and walls. I stand still for a moment, tensing at the sound of movement behind me. Something's here. I readied a grenade and was about to throw it a little ways in front of me, splattering what was left of the enemy over the floor. I heard a cry behind me and turned just in time to see one of my team members roll over another enemy and reclaim yet more territory from those worthless scum. I laughed and changed my form, swimming through the remnants of the battle and humming a tune to myself - "You're a kid now, you're a squid now." Soon enough, I rose from the ground and another five enemies fell to my weapons. My team and I took their land with glee. And, then, when the battle was done and the Cat had announced us victorious, it was time to go leave. And go shopping! Well, we do have to 'Stay fresh', after all! 
And now for a bit of information on the causes of this massacre we call a 'kid-friendly' game - the Inklings (Oh, Nintendo, what have you done?):

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

First Impressions: Orbital Gear

Harry, Satamer and I are going to EGX this weekend, and as part of the ticket, EGX are giving away a free game on Steam - Orbital Gear. Orbital Gear is a really fun, third-person, 2D space themed shooter, where the action revolves around players moving around and interacting with the various gravitational fields of planets in deathmatch. There is another gamemode, but due to the low amount of players on the servers, you can't find any games that are taking place, so currently the game is limited to DM and the single player game mode - Orbital Trials.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

First Impressions: iOS 9

iOS 9 is out now and it is... Well, about the same really (for iPhone at least). A new font, rainbow Siri, new style of multitasking (on the other side now!), some iCloud improvements, a low powered mode, a redesigned notes page, an updated reminders app and... That's about it. Anyway, here's my first experiences with it:

Friday, 18 September 2015

App Review No. 93 Texas Word 'Em

Strong Points:
Unique idea
Varied words
Great, clean UI and graphics
Can play solo to practice your skills
Great risk and reward
No real gambling involved!
Regular challenges from other players

Weak Points:
Some words are a bit random and not what you would first think
Timer is sometimes a bit strict
Can only sign in as a guest or through Facebook
Advert appears as soon as you open the app
Some words are right in context and word length but not the 'chosen' word
Can't play against someone in real time
Some clues are the words that you would've thought would've been the answer

Rating: 80%

Friday, 11 September 2015

App Review No. 92 Alto's Adventure

Strong Points:
Great, clean art style
Easy to learn, hard to master gameplay 
Changes in scenery keep things interesting
Introduction of power-ups add variants to the gameplay 
Lots of characters
Nice sound effects and music

Weak Points:
Can get repetitive
Frustrating
Some challenges seem impossible or just random
Power-ups and characters are introduced to slowly
Some of the obstacles can meld into the background 
Not too many variants in obstacles
Speed decreased suddenly if you jump but do no tricks

Rating: 87%

Monday, 7 September 2015

Comments: Pokémon Shuffle Mobile Codes Don't Work!

After the release of Pokémon Shuffle Mobile there were two passcodes given out: one in the 3DS version to unlock a Lucarionite in the mobile version (which I've used) and one in the mobile version to unlock a Lucarionite in the 3DS version (which I can't use)...

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Cheats and Codes No. 5 Pokémon Rumble World

The newest Pokémon Rumble offering comes with a selection of passcodes that will give you the edge in gaining ranks, buying balloons, defeating Pokémon and progressing in the game. Of course, it can also make the early game absurdly easy so use them at your own risk. Enter them in the Passwords section of the menu. If I have made a mistake or missed anything then please comment.
Sources: http://www.serebii.net/rumbleworld/passwords.shtml

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Top 5 - Most Wanted 3rd Party amiibo

After the announcement of the Shovel Knight amiibo, the first amiibo made for a 3rd Party game, it got me thinking. What other 3rd Party game characters could be made into amiibo. Well, I thought about it and wrote/typed my thoughts down onto paper/webpage. Here it is:

Friday, 4 September 2015

First Impressions: Stealth Inc. 2

I got this game for free on Humble Bundle and have been quite impressed with it so far. The game is an open-world stealth game with 'test chamber' levels interspersed in to the main game, allowing you to try new techniques and compete in the global leaderboards. This is how I got on.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

First Impressions: Pokémon Showdown

Oh, Pokémon Showdown, where have you been all my life? Right in front of me, apparently, having being released in 2011. I wonder why I haven't used it before... Hmm... Well, that doesn't matter, what matters is that I have found it now and that I intend to use it as both a training scheme for the forthcoming Pokémon World Championships UK Qualifiers as well as for a bit of fun.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

First Impressions: Rocket League

I recently got this game on the PS4 after watching a couple of videos on YouTube and liking what I saw. I've got to say, this being my first football-esque game since PES 09, I was a bit apprehensive as I'm not very good at sport games, but I was quickly proven wrong.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - September 2015 - Guards, Grunts and Goons

Video Game Character of the Month
September 2015
Guards, Grunts and Goons
(i.e. AI)


Overview:
I think that it's time to celebrate some of the ignored, unloved and downright hated characters of gaming that, nevertheless, make your quests and adventures happen - all while trying to stop them. That's right, it is time for the Guards, Grunts and Goons of gaming to get the award!
And, now, for a bit of information on Guards, Grunts and Goons (and, more specifically, their AI):

Monday, 31 August 2015

Comments: Hitman: Agent 47

I recently went to watch the reboot of the Hitman film franchise - Hitman: Agent 47 and was pleasantly surprised by it.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Comments: Kobé Steakhouse - Ms. Pac Man

And now for the final Kobé comment! And it's time for the man himself... 's wife (at least I think they're married - she is a Ms. after all). That's right! It's time to enter the maze once more, this time with Ms. Pac Man.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Comments: Men In Black: Alien Attack

When we went to Universal Studios we entered what appeared to be a pretty harmless tour through the Universe and You!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Comments: Completion of Contrast

Well, I got back from holiday yesterday and, due to jet lag, decided to take a day off. And, so, an afternoon of gaming commenced. And the game I chose to play was Contrast.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Comments: Kobé Steakhouse - Frogger

Back to the Kobé restaurant today and I had another (rather short go) at another classic. Frogger. The cross the road game that all other cross the road games aspire to be. However, my experience with it was short and bitter sweet. 

Monday, 24 August 2015

Comments: Kobé Steakhouse - Donkey Kong

As Harry has already mentioned in a past post, we visited the Kobé restaurant in Orlando, Florida on holiday. There I got to play (an emulation of) Donkey Kong.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Comments: Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom

Explore the Magic Kingdom they said. It'll be safe they said. What they didn't mention was the fact that Hades has gathered all of Disney's darkest forces and decided to attack. And, of course, it was up to me, my family and a bunch of Disney heroes on cards (oh, and Merlin) to save the Crystals of the Magic Kingdom from Hades' fiery grasp.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

PC Building: Week 11 - SATA Cables and IDE Converter

This week, I did some research, and came up with a solution about how to access my files off my old IDE hard drive from my 2005 Dell Dimension 3000, which I recently disassembled as I don't use it any more.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Comments: Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

We're in Magic Kingdom now and, this time the toys had decided to take the fight to us. The Evil Emperor Zerg™ had created a secret weapon and it was up to us (as newly recruited Space Rangers - some of the only toys that didn't seem evil) to stop him. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Comments: Kobé Steakhouse - Galaga

When I went to the Kobé Steakhouse on holiday, there was an arcade machine (i.e. with the original joysticks etc. but on a flat screen rather than a cabinet) emulator containing Galaga and Donkey Kong, among other things. I selected Galaga and, while not doing as well as I hoped I would (I died at about 8500 points - oops), it was quite fun.

Monday, 17 August 2015

App Review No. 91 Crossy Road

Strong points:
Colourful vibrant graphics
Sound effects are nice
Addictive
Lots of characters
Characters change the game... Cosmetically at least
Prizes are a good way to get coins
Frequent themed updates
Challenges help to gain coins
Certain characters can be found in game by fulfilling certain objectives...

Weak Points:
Hard to get enough coins for characters outside of prizes
Prize times increase dramatically
Frustrating
Repetitive
...although no hints are given about how to unlock them

Rating: 75%


Sunday, 16 August 2015

First Impressions: Brave

Well, I have to say that I was pleasently surprised by this one. Recently, I visited the Innoventions section of Epcot while on holiday with my family and, as some of you may know, there is a video game section at the end with some of Disney's choice tie-in games (so, Pixar basically). I didn't have much time and, so, only got to go on one game. While Satamer got stuck on an early level of Brave, I thought I'd be brave and jump right in with the final level.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

New Feature Alert! Comments!

As some of you will have seen, we have another new feature! This comes as part of our ever going quest to improve the quantity and quality of the posts that we offer here at Games, Apps and Reviews. And, so, I hereby introduce...

PC Building Week 10 - Changing Default Installation and User Profile Location

This week, I did some registry editing in order to move my user profile and default installation directory to my secondary 1TB Hard Drive.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Comments: Toy Story Midway Mania

When I visited Holywood Studios in Orlando, Florida with my family we entered a world inhabited by sentient toys. They're bigger than us. Stronger than us. Smarter than us. Better than us.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

PC Building: Week 9 - Operating System Installation

This week, I decided to install my operating system onto my PC, which was a lot harder than it looks, due to my lack of a disc drive connected to my PC. First, I created an Ubuntu Live USB, so that I could at least use my computer to find a solution to my problem. Then I began to search for a solution, which I found in the form of a boot USB. At first I tried to do this straight from the Windows 8.1 iso that I had downloaded, but as this failed time, and time again, I decided to create one from the Windows 7 boot disc that I had from my old PC, but this, too failed. I had one final idea - to connect up my DVD drive in place of my main hard drive temporarily (since I only had 2 of the 3 SATA cables I needed) and install a temporary copy of Windows 7 onto the SSD. Once the Windows 7 installation was complete, I installed one program - Daemon Tools, a virtual disk drive application that I could then use to mount the Windows 8.1 iso. I then ran the installer on it, to install Windows 8.1 onto my PC. Quite a long winded approach, but the only way that I could think to do it without the SATA cable I needed for my disk drive.

This has been a Behind the Team post from Thomas (The Stacinator). Bye for now!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Review No. 114 Pilotwings Resort - 3DS (3+)

Strong Points:
Graphics are quite good...
Music is good
Lots of missions
Lots of vehicles
The vehicles are quite varied and have different playstyles
Free Flight Mode is great
Exploring Wuhu Island is fun
The vehicles handle pretty well
The altitude and speedometer are a nice inclusion

Weak Points:
...although some points (such as the water) haven't aged brilliantly
The controls can be a bit fiddly
Landing can prove a problem and take away a few minutes of hard work
The scaling's a bit off - you are about the size of a building
The squirrel suit is only used once



Saturday, 1 August 2015

PC Building: Week 8 - Troubleshooting

The majority of this week, I spent troubleshooting why my PC doesn't boot to BIOS, removing each component in turn and seeing if it would boot. Finally, I came across the source of my problems: last week, I plugged the fans into both the PSU and the motherboard, as there is a fan header on the motherboard, but this is apparently not the way you are meant to do things! Either you connect the fans to one, or the other, but not both! I decided to connect it to the PSU, as although I am sacrificing control, the fans spin faster, meaning my PC will run cooler.

This has been a Behind the Team post from Thomas (The Stacinator). Bye for now!

Top 5 - New Worlds Wanted in Kingdom Hearts 3

With the Kingdom Hearts 3 hype train chugging along at a great rate and more information coming every (few) month(s), here are my top 5 worlds wanted in Kingdom Hearts 3.

Video Game Character of the Month - August 2015 - Rico Rodriguez - Just Cause

Video Game Character of the Month
August 2015
Rico Rodriguez
Just Cause
Overview:
Rico 'Scorpio' Rodriguez must have a pretty fun life. I mean, he can survive just about anything and his job is to grapple around and destroy stuff (and get shot but we'll ignore that). And now for a bit of information on the action hero of action heroes:

Thursday, 30 July 2015

First Impressions: Torchlight II

I've always wanted to try out this genre of games but I felt that I never really had the time to appreciate them fully. Diablo III arrived and while I was tempted, the price tag of a newly released game and the stories of people spending hundreds of hours on the game stopped me. Then Torchlight II appeared on my recommended list during the Steam summer sale. It was under £5. I thought it was a bargain so I bought it and made myself jump in when the holiday's came around...

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

First Impressions: Pixel Gun World

Pixel Gun World is the successor to the mobile phone version game Pixel Gun 3D although it seems to be more like a port as it has basically the same features. It's in beta now and you can download from here: http://pixelgun3d.com/. I enjoyed the original game although it was quite laggy on my iPhone 4 and so I eventually had to delete it. Running the game on my laptop however, is a much sweeter experience and I have enjoyed it so far. That is... when I got it working...

Saturday, 25 July 2015

PC Building: Week 7 - Building Part II - Non-Required Components

This week, I installed the last few critical components into my machine (my HDD, SSD and CPU cooling fan), and added the rest of the components to the motherboard to produce a machine that I hope will boot.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

First Impressions: Fallout 3

Welcome to the vault. It may not be the best place in the world but at least it's safe. I think... Here you can grow up in carefully controlled conditions, get a Pip-Boy 3000 at age 10 for all your hoarding needs, pass the G.O.A.Ts at age 16, get your perfect job role assigned and work for the rest of your life for the good of the vault. Remember, the Overseer is watching.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

First Impressions: Mirror's Edge

Run, jump, wall run, run, BANG! Hit the wall. Lost momentum. Try again. Run, jump, wall run, AARGH! Fell down. Lost my life. Try again. Run, jump, wall run, run, jump, pray. Made it. Phew. Turn corner. Drink in the glorious sights. Repeat.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

App Review No. 90 Does Not Commute

Strong Points:
Good graphics
Great music
Good sound effects
Funny, strangely intriguing storylines
Powerups are kept even when you lose
Interesting gamelpay
Environment effects/different types of cars keep things interesting

Weak Points:
Checkpoints have to be bought for real money
- This can get rid of some of the addictiveness

Rating: 73%


Sunday, 19 July 2015

App Review No. 89 Tiltagon

Strong Points:
Interesting control scheme (that actually works quite well)
Graphics are quite clean
Music and sound effects are good
Two difficulty modes adds a challenge
Addictive

Weak Points:
Frustrating (and the frustration is intensified by the control scheme; especially when on a moving vehicle, like when many of us play these games)
A lot of the colour scheme is poor 
A huge jump in difficulty from Hard to Hard +

Rating: 67%

Saturday, 18 July 2015

PC Building: Week 6 - Building Part I - Core Components

This week, I began to put my components together in the case to create a bootable machine. I attached the basic components (CPU and RAM) to the motherboard, connected the PSU and mounted both items into the case.

Friday, 17 July 2015

App Review No. 88 SimCity BuildIt

Strong Points:
Pacing starts out well (if a bit quick)...
Graphics are good
Music is good
Sound effects are good (especially when you level up)
The Global/Friend Trade Center is helpful
Offline mode is a nice touch
Very easy to make basic materials
Building is almost instant
Upgrades are good for pacing, length and aesthetics
Being able to move buildings is a great idea
Being able to watch videos/get presents from other cities is a great way to get rarer items/(in the case of videos) Simoleons
The cargo ship is a good idea and helps get you Simoleons/Golden Keys...
Dr Vu's Disaster Tower is an interesting concept...

Weak Points:
...and then completely collapses
Simoleons are quite hard to get
Advanced materials are harder to make
Storage fills up very quickly
No way to lock materials on the Global Trade Center to friends only
Upgrade storage/expansion items are hard to get without keeping the game on for hours
Residences have to be close to beaches/mountains in order to benefit (and so some, especially older, cities may need a complete redesign)
... but the materials you need often take too long to make in order to use it
... but using it/rebuilding your city can be too expensive to warrant it

Rating: 77%


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Recap: ESL One Frankfurt 2015

On Saturday the 20th of June me and my father travelled to Frankfurt for the ESL One DOTA 2 tournament. We managed to stay for 3 quarter final games before we had to return to the UK, and I'll recap the day's events now.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

App Review No. 87 sn

Strong Points:
A nice reinvention of Snake
Gradual difficulty
The free movement aspect leads to some interesting maneuvers
Addictive

Weak Points:
Some graphical lag/jagged animation
For a reinvention, there's not much changed
The 'snake' head follows you just in front of your finger (not on it)
Frustrating

Rating: 50%



Tuesday, 14 July 2015

50,000 Views Extravanganza!

We've done it guys and gals! We've made it to this amazing milestone of 50,000 views! From our humble beginnings of the 100 view milestone to our first birthday and 25,000 views to our second. And now this. We are halfway to 100,000 views everyone! That is a very big number. Thank you to all of you for reading, commenting and sharing this humble little blog and allowing it to grow and flourish. And now, onto the new/returning/the-ones-we-said-we-were-going-to-do-but-never-did features!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

PC Building: Week 5 - Last Minute Changes and Ordering

After a discussion about cooling with my Dad, I have decided to replace the stock CPU cooler, I have decided to buy a Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO, as reviews state that this will give my components a longer life, and the system will run cooler and quieter. I also decided to change my mouse, keyboard and headset for a bundle, as they were cheaper, and matched better together.

I also received the case for Christmas, and have gained enough money to order my components from various sources. All in all, it cost just over £900. 

Merry Belated Christmas (again), and Happy Belated New Year!

This has been a Behind the Team post from Thomas (The Stacinator). Bye for now!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

PC Building: Week 4 - Completed Price Comparisons

This week, I completed my price comparisons for the Non-Required Peripherals, meaning that I was ready to start buying my components next week, with my money from Christmas.

Merry Belated (or early) Christmas Everyone!!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - July 2015 - Lt. Morgan - Battle Nations

Video Game Character of the Month
July 2015
Lt. Morgan
Battle Nations


Overview:
"Lt. Morgan reporting for duty, sir." 
"At ease, Lt. Now, I think it is time to talk about your promotion." 
"Oh, thank you sir!"
"Now, as you know, you have performed admirably as part of the 95th Rifle Company and so..." *Sniff, Sniff* "Is that alcohol on your breath?" 
"Alcohol? No, no, of course not!" 
"Lt. you are dismissed."
And, that is why Lt. Morgan is a Lieutenant and not a Captain. 
Disclaimer: this may, or may not, be based on accurate information
Now, for a bit of info on LT. Morgan:

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

App Review No. 86 94%

Strong Points:
Lots of levels
Two types of levels (word and picture)
Great sense of progression... to start with
Interesting to see what the survey says
Jokers are helpful... 

Weak Points:
...and get expensive very quickly
Answers are very American TV-Centric
Some answers are a bit... unusual/unobvious (especially in the picture ones)
Frustrating 
Its own autocorrect can break it (lemon is not the same as watermelon, guys!)
Some of the levels contain one really obvious (high points) answer and many 1 point answers

Rating: 50%



Saturday, 27 June 2015

E3 Roundup 2015: Microsoft

Right then, so I'm going to try to be a bit more on time this year in terms of the E3 posts (and, as this is the last one, it looks like I have been!). In this post, I shall be rounding up Microsoft's E3 conference and will include information on all of the games, trailers and any other bits of news I can gather from the conference. Of course, spoilers will ensue. Enjoy.

PC Building: Week 3 - Price Comparisons

This week, I performed price comparisons on all of my components to find the best possible deal for the item I want. I managed to get a price for all of my required parts, and have pasted them below.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

First Impressions: Terrorhedron

A few weeks ago, there was a game on sale on Steam for 19p, which Oli decided to buy me (thanks Oli!). That game was Terrorhedron, a 3D tower defence game where you have to defend your base at incoming 3D shapes (hence the name 'Terrorhedron' - a pun on the word 'Tetrahedron' - the simplest 3D shape - made of equilateral triangles).

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

E3 2015 Roundup: Sony

Right then, so I'm going to try to be a bit more on time this year in terms of the E3 posts. In this post, I shall be rounding up Sony's E3 conference and will include information on all of the games, trailers and any other bits of news I can gather from the conference. Of course, spoilers will ensue. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

First Impressions: Dragon Age: Inquisition

I have been debating with myself on whether or not I should buy this game. Do I really have the time? Will I enjoy it? Will it live up to the likes of Skyrim? I decided to take the plunge and buy the game on Amazon for £20 and have never looked back since. This game is awesome (however, I don't think it is better than Skyrim just yet, place your vote in the comments).

Monday, 22 June 2015

E3 2015 Roundup: Nintendo

Right then, so I'm going to try to be a bit more on time this year in terms of the E3 posts. In this post, I shall be rounding up Nintendo's E3 conference and will include information on all of the games, amiibo and any other bits of news I can gather from the conference. Of course, spoilers will ensue. Enjoy.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Friday, 19 June 2015

App Review No. 85 aa

Strong Points:
Addictive
Lots of levels
Clean level design
Nice music
Interesting gameplay
Can skip and choose levels
Has, slightly broken, leaderboards

Weak Points:
Bad sound effects
Ads randomly pop up
Really frustrating
Huge difficulty spikes
Lots of ads on main menu
Can get repetitive
Lack of polish
Certain levels are just unfair

Rating: 52%


Monday, 15 June 2015

First Impressions: Steam Summer Monster Game

When the Steam Summer Sale returned on the 11th June, I was expecting to buy games. Many games. However, I was not expecting to be able to play one in order to get deals.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

PC Building: Week 1 - Researching Components

Over 3 months, I planned, built and tested a computer from parts as part of the skills section of my Duke of Edinburgh's award.

This week I did some research, and found that I require these parts in order for it to work.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Review No. 113 Far Cry 3 - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
Great graphics
Exotic location
Nice colour palette
Antagonists voice acting and characters are awesome
Quite funny
Lots to do
Quite a few vehicles and weapons to use
Superb story
First person makes the game very atmospheric
Lots of ways to complete an objective
Handbook is good at filling in the backstory and has some great humour
Side quests have good stories of their own
Plenty of stuff to do inbetween sections of story, or after the story has finished
Open world is fun (running over pirates, taking out camps etc.)

Weak Points:
The challenges (wanted dead, supply crates etc.) are repetitive
Protagonists voice acting and characters aren't quite as good as the antagonists
Will always run out of space for loot, money etc. unless you spend hours getting the required materials
Some bugs/glitches (e.g. Can't go up a tiny step without jumping)
So many weapons to choose from but you are only allowed a maximum of  4 at a time
Story is a bit far-fetched
Can't use extra mouse buttons for actions (e.g bind mouse button 5 to Sprint)
Asks you if you want to sell a skin or leaf (even if you have no use for it any more - lategame)
Once you complete the game, you lose a disguise that allows you to go undetected on the south island
Once you beat all the strongholds, little enemies respawn, which can make the island basically empty


Friday, 5 June 2015

First Impressions: Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2

First Nintendo bring out one of the best Mario Kart/racer ever, then release a couple of free updates to cement its place in the top percent of racer. After that they release a DLC pack to rival the best DLC packs. What can they do next you ask?


Monday, 1 June 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - June 2015 - Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

Video Game Character of the Month
June 2015
Lara Croft
Tomb Raider


Overview:
Continuing on from the British theme from last month, the newest character to receive the prestigious Video Game Character of the Month is... Lara Croft! And what a character she is. Not only is she a great character in her own right but she also holds the burden of representing women in the early gaming industry and, now, starting to change this image, however successfully, from sex symbol to a full character. Now for a little bit of information on Lara:

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Rant No. 6 amiibo Shortages

Right then, I think it's my turn to rant, don't you? And I think I'll start it with something that's rather close to my heart... and my wallet. As many of you are probably aware, Nintendo's new IP, Splatoon, came out on Friday. I, like many others in the UK (and around the world), preordered the game in order to get the limited edition Squid Inkling amiibo (and the Boy and Girl Inkling amiibo, thanks to GAME's bundle). I was then rather disheartened to find that my Squid Inkling amiibo had been... misplaced... along with the lorry that was carrying it.

Live Blog: Pokémon VGC 2015

8:00
Going to Manchester for the Championships. Just doing final checks and edits now. More when we get there.
Goodbye for now, Harry

Monday, 18 May 2015

Review No. 112 Clicker Heroes - PC (3+)

Strong Points:
Lots of heroes
Lots of upgrades
Good graphics
Superb music
Nice lore
Good to keep running on the background...
... but it doesn't need to be on to play
Stupid amounts of damage is quite fun to use
Ascension keeps you playing after the game would have gotten boring
Lots of achievements
Earlier heroes are given a longer life thanks to some 4* DPS upgrades
You can either set it to progress through the levels (Progress Mode) or farm the same level (Farm Mode) when you reach level 100
Relics and Mercenaries add more to the game
The 'Join a Random Clan' Button is helpful
Clans add more to the game...

Weak Points:
Not many upgrades per hero
Still saves to your browser which means deleting cookies can wipe your data (make sure to save to a txt file in order to prevent this)
So much damage that numbers become meaningless
Can become quite repetitive
Relics can be quite hard to find
... but cost 50 Rubies to create (you can join random ones but it would be nice to be able to create your own for free)

Rating: 66%


Friday, 15 May 2015

App Review No. 84 Quiz Up

Strong Points:
Lots of categories with more being added all the time
Lots of questions in the categories with more being added all the time
Levelling and titles are a great way to keep you playing
Lots of achievements
Can challenge and see the activity of your friends
Addictive
Nice, stylish layout
Good music
Discussions on your favourite topics
The social network parts are quite fun to use and you can find many memes etc. ...

Weak Points:
Some achievement hints are a bit vague
Some people are out-of-reach on the more popular leaderboards
Some topics are so close for points that it makes it tedious (always ends up in a draw)
Levelling very difficult after a while
Match-making could have some work
...however, it needs to be careful so that it stays as a quiz app first, social network second.

Rating: 94%


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

First Impressions: Nidhogg

When I first saw Nidhogg I wasn't expecting much. This was mainly due to the rather lackluster (and sometimes psychedelic) graphics and the fact that it first appeared to be a game where you fenced a bit and, eventually, somebody died. However, this turned out to be a veil for what is a pretty in-depth game with some superb gameplay opportunities. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

First Impressions: Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition

Any game as completely bonkers as Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition deserves a play (or at least a watch) and Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is definitely bonkers.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Custom Built PC

Just a heads up to why there hasn't been many posts from me on the blog yet. I have currently been doing my DofE and, as part of this, have been building a desktop PC from scratch. As evidence, I have been building a blog for this, and hope to copy the posts over soon so look out for that.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

New Feature Alert! Behind the Team

Some time ago (in the Gadget Show Live Recap, no less) I mentioned that there was going to be a new, more personal, feature coming along...

Friday, 8 May 2015

Review No. 111 Scribblenauts Unlimited - PC (3+)

Strong Points:
Unique ideas - write items in the notebook to create them and solve puzzles
Cute game style - the cartoony theme works well with the little mini-storylines
New mechanics - can add adjectives to objects to help solve some problems
Wide vocabulary - can solve puzzles in many funny/creative ways
Steam Workshop - can create objects and allow others to download and use them

Weak Points:
Difficulty level is low - is easy for most people (with common sense)
Puzzles can be boring
No way to change difficulty level - can be frustratingly easy
Steam Workshop - some items glitch your game

Rating: 84%

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Review No. 110 Half-Life: Blue Shift - PC (16+)

Strong Points:
Superb gameplay
A great range of weapons (though the smallest of the three games)
Music is atmospheric
It's challenging
Puzzles are good
You will have to use all the weapons
Storyline is good
You will be on edge for the whole game - no hand holding here
Lots of different types of gameplay - platforming, shooter, stealth, puzzler, etc.
Being able to save whenever you want to is very helpful
More characters makes the world seem more alive
Makes more sense than the original from your characters perspective (i.e. a security guard (even the Black Mesa ones) could definitely survive better than a scientist)
Explains a lot of the lore and story that was missed from the last two games
Very similar to the last two

Weak Points:
Not very long - even shorter than the last one
Graphics haven't aged very well
Slightly anti-climactic compared to the first
It can be ridiculously hard (I had 5 HP for the majority of the game - again - again)
There are no cutscenes so you can miss information
Some glitches
The enemies AI isn't great/sometimes too good (can see through walls occasionally)
HP restore points aren't very evenly spaced
Difficulty spikes
Not as many weapons as the last two
Very similar to the original

Rating: 76%

Friday, 1 May 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - May 2015 - Professor Layton - Professor Layton

Video Game Character of the Month
May 2015
Professor Layton
Professor Layton


Overview:
Time for a bit of class to be given this prestigious award I think. Professor Hershel Layton, the perfect British, tea-drinking, top-hat wearing, puzzle solving gentlemen. Don your top hats and get ready for an overview of this classy gent:


Thursday, 30 April 2015

Martin's Top 5 Games of 2014

Honourable Mentions:
Mario Kart 8
Pokémon Shuffle

5. Pokemon Omega Ruby: This deserves higher but I found it too easy to complete the game where as Pokémon Black Version 2 was a harder game as it was before the Gen 6 of easiness where there is no such thing as a challenge in Pokémon. However the Delta Episode was a good addition that helped explain the story line.

4. Heroes of the Storm: This new take on a MOBA takes out items and adds talents, a new way to upgrade and customise your Heroes. This allows you to start with all your abilities rather than having to choose which to start with.

3. Hyrule Warriors: This is fun but when playing long times on end it does become very repetitive, the DLC adds new maps, characters and weapons but isn't enough to stop it becoming very boring after a while.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D: This is a remake of a great game with improved mechanics like more save points which really helps with the portable console. The graphics look good and it is a great way to get new players into Zelda.

1. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/ Super Smash Bros. for 3DS: The latest and maybe the last (please no) Super Smash Bros. game has loads of new characters (RIP Ice Climbers) as well as new game modes, this is also being updated with DLC such as Mewtwo, Lucas and Mii costumes. A great game for friends and competitive play.

See You,
Martin

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Rant No. 5 PC 'Master Race'

With the recent release of GTA V for PC, the internet has exploded once again, with cries of gamers shouting one term. 'PC MASTER RACE!!!!'. I've personally never understood the term and being a gamer who can enjoy games on a computer AND a console, never really appreciated it. For anyone who doesn't know, the term and the phrases associated with it (dirty console peasants etc.) are meant to tell people that PC, as a gaming platform, is better than consoles. But rather than debating it civilly using actual facts, some people on the internet think that just screaming that they are right means that they actually are. Disclaimer: I'm not here to say that consoles are better than PC or vice versa. The idea of this post is to highlight the stupidity of the phrase PC Master Race. Now let's actually look at some facts:

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Review No. 109 Contrast - PC (12+)

Strong Points:
Great mechanics
Nice art style
Touching story
Lovely soundtrack
Good puzzle design

Weak Points:
Very short
Bugs and glitches
Can become slightly frustrating
No custom key-bindings

Rating: 78%


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Recap: The Gadget Show Live 2015

Introducing a new feature - the Recap! This feature will be used when we go to a gaming or technology event but don't have the time/resources to do a live blog so that we can still show you where we've been, what we did and what great tech is out there! So, without further ado, onto the Recap!

*Disclaimer: we are not, in any way, associated with the Gadget Show or Channel 5 (and have not been told to say the following things either ;)*

Saturday, 4 April 2015

First Impressions: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Expecting this game to be a short, neon fuelled explosion (which isn't that bad when you think about it) I was surprised when I got down to playing this game. While there are explosions, neon lights and it is short in comparison to Far Cry 3, it is also streamlined, hilarious and most of all, fun. The game mirrors an 80's action movie, with bad puns, patriotism, hidden messages and massive guns. You are a Mark IV super soldier and it is your job to stop a rogue general from basically blowing everything up. To do this you have to... blow everything up.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - April 2015 - Pit - Kid Icarus

Video Game Character of the Month
April 2015
Pit
Kid Icarus


Overview:
Ah, Pit, will you ever fight again? Apparently so as he's now a staple of the Super Smash Bros. Series. It's just like with buses - you wait for 25 years and then three come at once (although, if you're waiting 25 years I would recommend learning how to drive or teleport or something). Anyways, I think a better question would have been - will Pit ever make it into the Games Apps and Reviews Video Game Character of the Month Hall of Fame? Not as catchy, maybe, but still...
Now for a bit of information on Pit: 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Harry's Top 5(ish) Games of 2014

5) Hyrule Warriors: now then, to begin my top five games of the past year is a game that both I and most of the world didn't expect: a crossover between The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors. Besides a couple of issues, this has proven to be a pretty brilliant decision by Nintendo and one that I would like to see continued with other Nintendo IP's and genres.
AND
Pokémon Shuffle: continuing on with the theme of good decisions that Nintendo have made that I would like to see continued (if more conservatively) is the free-to-play Pokémon Link title - Pokémon Shuffle. I've thoroughly enjoyed playing this title and think the game, by itself, is superb even without the pay system. Check out my First Impressions for more of my thoughts on this great game.  

Thursday, 26 March 2015

2nd Birthday

26th March 2015: the blog's calendar reads. Two words are shown, scribbled hastily on with black pen. 2nd BIRTHDAY. I check the date. 24th March. Two days until the blog's birthday. It finally sinks in. The blog is TWO! Two years old! My word, have we had quite a year...

Sunday, 22 March 2015

App Review No. 83 Reckless Racing

Strong Points:
Great graphics
Nice control schemes and enough for each style of play
Lots of characters, with varying play styles
Lots of courses
3 difficulties
3 types of gameplay adds even more variety
Addictive
Multiplayers good

Weak Points:
There are some difficulty spikes - especially from silver to gold medals
They don't tell you what play styles each character has
Can't change the colour of the cars except in multiplayer
A story would've been nice
The characters could use some slight tweaks to balancing

Rating: 92%

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Review No. 108 Don't Starve Together - PC (12+)

Strong Points:
Keeps up the feeling of survival rather than luxury for longer than other games
Lots of items
Lots of characters
Characters have their own powers and abilities
Good, eerie music
Good, eerie graphics
Crafting is good
Challenging
Permanent hard-core mode keeps you on your toes
Seasons/day/dusk/night system gives you a goal and a deadline
Interesting lore
Multiplayer makes the game slightly easier and means you can split goals
You don't lose your world as long as one person is alive
The ghosts of your friends can light up the world around you
Free for those who already own Don't Starve
Endless and Wilderness Modes add more customizability to the game

Weak Points:
Controls can be fiddly especially with the strange camera angle
Can be extremely difficult at times
Hard to pick up past rudimentary survival
Permanent hard-core mode means mistakes can be costly
Bad map spawns can mean a few restarts - especially for beginners (although worlds can be edited slightly)
Quite hard keep track of insanity, hunger and health
If other players are ghosts, your insanity takes a beating pretty quickly
The map is not shared between characters which can be rather annoying
Adventure Mode is no longer in the game

Rating: 87%


Thursday, 12 March 2015

Review No. 107 Don't Starve - PC (12+)

Strong Points:
Keeps up the feeling of survival rather than luxury for longer than other games
Lots of items
Lots of characters
Characters have their own powers and abilities
Good, eerie music
Good, eerie graphics
Crafting is good
Challenging
Permanent hard-core mode keeps you on your toes
Seasons/day/dusk/night system gives you a goal and a deadline
Interesting lore
Adventure Mode adds more to do as well a variety to the gameplay (a rougelike aspect) and a point to the game

Weak Points:
Controls can be fiddly especially with the strange camera angle
Can be extremely difficult at times
Hard to pick up past rudimentary survival
Permanent hard-core mode means mistakes can be costly
Bad map spawns can mean a few restarts - especially for beginners (although worlds can be edited slightly)
Quite hard keep track of insanity, hunger and health
Made for multiplayer

Rating: 86%


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

App Review No. 82 Amazing Brick

Strong Points:
A bit more skill is involved than with most of these types of games
Nice, minimalist graphics
Good sound effects

Weak Points:
A slightly steeper learning curve than similar games
Frustrating
Only one mode
No collectables (different bricks etc.)

Rating: 60%

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Review No. 106 Pokémon Shuffle - 3DS (3+)

Strong Points:
Cute, cartoony graphics
Great music
Good, solid, match three gameplay
Mega evolutions, support Pokémon and abilities add more to the gameplay with a Pokémon spin
500 coins for checking in each day makes getting coins much easier
Getting a higher catchability for more using less moves adds a reward for skill (or blind, combo-based luck)
Lots of levels
Lots of Pokémon
Expert and Special levels add more variety to the game
Doesn't force you to pay real money
Keeps you coming back for more
It's a free Pokémon game!
Super Catch Mode makes it easier to catch rarer Pokémon, occasionally (although why they didn't call it Ultra Ball?)
Mega Speedup Candies let you Mega Evolve quicker

Weak Points:
No 3D (it just seems lazy, really)
Some Pokémon are ridiculously hard to catch (3% catchability for Riolu? Really?)
Great Balls are very expensive for what they do
Items are really expensive
Levels don't give out very many coins
A lack of story
Too many Pokémon have the same abilities (if I see another Pokémon with Opportunist...)
Pokémon only have one type which, while making it simpler, makes some well known type matchups unusable
Not using Play Coins as a currency is a bit of a missed opportunity
Lots of events forces you to keep playing which feels a tad underhanded
Too many of the starting Mega's are normal types which makes them rather underpowered to begin with

Rating: 77%


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - March 2015 - The Barbarian - Clash of Clans

Video Game Character of the Month
March 2015
The Barbarian
Clash of Clans
Overview:
'We're gonna need more Barbarians' said the Witch and the Archers. Well if that doesn't grant you a place in the Hall of Fame that is VGCOTM then I don't know what does! How about being part of one of the biggest apps of all time? Yeah, that'll do it. Now for a quick bit of information on the Barbarian as I train some up, myself:

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Rant No. 4 Fraps Error Messages (or lack thereof)

Fraps is a good recording software, and the one that I use for making my videos. Some of you may notice that there will be a gap in the recordings of the Prison Architect videos going out on the YouTube channel. This is due to Fraps.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Review No. 105 Cloudbuilt - PC (10+)

Strong Points:
Great gameplay
Nice, different, graphical style
Great music
Good speedrunning game
Gameplay gives you lots of freedom
Completing a section perfectly gives you a great sense of achievement
Challenging
Storyline is nicely paced and keeps you going
Lots of levels
4 modes adds a bit more variety
Level editor is very in-depth...

Weak Points:
Graphics locked to very low for lots of laptops (with a graphics card of about 512mb)
Skins are not available for lots of laptops (with a graphics card of about 512mb)
Storyline never quite lives up to its potential
Huge difficulty spikes
Can be a bit unfair
Thinly spread checkpoints
Levels are quite long for this type of game
A/S Rank (or really anything above C) are really (and I mean really) difficult to get
... but perhaps a bit complicated/in need of polishing

Rating: 76%

Sunday, 15 February 2015

First Impressions: Half-Life: Blue Shift

This is the second of the two expansion packs for Half-Life and has you playing as Barney Calhoun, a Black Mesa security guard. This gives you another, whilst not as drastic, outlook on the storyline from the original game and shows you how the security guards live and work (not to mention how rude the scientists are). 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Rant No. 3 Steam Gems

Hello Banters and Bantresses,

I'll start with a question that I often ask myself - Valve: why?


I have 100 gems, okay? I thought that, hey, I might get a game. But no, I just got slapped in the face. I am not a casual gamer but I don't spend all my time on the computer. It seems that gems are worthless, over a thousand are needed to get the worst games put up for auction - tens of thousands for good ones.

Are you trying to make a uniform Steam currency? If you did, you failed because you need at least two years of owning Steam to come close to getting a game. This DOES NOT make new players welcome. I could have got about 15p for the cards a swapped for gems. They are a null concept and pointless. I want that 15p in my Steam wallet! I was completely f****** off when I realised how poor a decision converting to gems is. What were you thinking?!?!?
There is, of course, the argument that you can convert items rather than trading cards which, in actuality, can be quite an easy way to get gems. In addition you can get a cheap badge (convert one item to gems) which was a nice incentive (but could have been developed by making it harder to achieve/being able to level it up - get 250 gems for example).

Overall, the main problems are the conversion rate between gems and money and cards/items and gems as well as the, already present, problem of actually getting these items and cards without spending money (which would be more than the gem price due to the low conversion rate). If these problems were addressed, and the required security was added, then Steam Gems could become a proper currency with a thriving marketplace (if the Steam Marketplace wasn't already broken, that is - but that's another rant for another day).

You've been reading an Olimg rant (with some help from Harry). Thanks and come again! (If something else annoys me enough).



Thursday, 12 February 2015

Review No. 104 Half-Life: Opposing Force - PC (16+)

Strong Points:
Superb gameplay
A great range of weapons (greater than the original)
Music is atmospheric
It's challenging
Puzzles are good
You will have to use all the weapons
Storyline is good
You will be on edge for the whole game - no hand holding here
Lots of different types of gameplay (even more than the original)- platforming, shooter, stealth, puzzler, grappling etc.
Being able to save whenever you want to is very helpful
More characters makes the world seem more alive
Makes more sense than the original from your characters perspective (i.e. a soldier could definitely survive better than a scientist)
Very similar to the original

Weak Points:
Not very long
Graphics haven't aged very well
Slightly anti-climactic compared to the first
It can be ridiculously hard (I had 5 HP for the majority of the game - again)
There are no cutscenes so you can miss information
Some glitches
The enemies AI isn't great/sometimes too good (can see through walls occasionally)
HP restore points aren't very evenly spaced
Difficulty spikes
Ropes look terrible and handle even worse
Night-vision goggles aren't as good as a torch (harder to see)
Very similar to the original

Rating: 88%

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Author Update (Guest)

Hello and welcome to another Author Update with me, Harry! (Anybody get the reference? Watch our YouTube Channel to find out!). Another Author has entered our midst and it's... you! That's right, you can now send us your posts and reviews (as well as what you'd like to be called - but, please, no obscenities) and we'll publish them using our, new, Guest Blogger account (provided they're good enough, that is)! Please send all posts to gamesreviewsandotherstuff@gmail.com. This is the next step for Games, Apps and Reviews and I hope you can all be a part of it! Happy blogging!  

Goodbye for now, Harry

Review No. 103 Dead Rising 3 - Xbox One (18+)

Strong Points:
Strong, solid game-play
Great scavenging element - weapon crafting is fluid and makes sense (some of the time)
Graphics are beautiful - really nicely done textures
Voice acting is great - even though it's clear story isn't the focus
Challenging - not impossible, but difficult

Weak Points:
Difficulty - can be a little too challenging at times (I am stuck about halfway through the story)
Leveling is a little weak - could be better, but could be worse
Can get repetitive and brainless - large swarms of zombies are too easy to deal with

Rating79%

Thursday, 5 February 2015

App Review No. 81 Make Them Fall

Strong Points:
Colourful
Lots of different game modes
Challenging
Simple controls
Simplistic

Weak Points:
No currency
Split screen is difficult on smaller devices
Too simple

 Rating: 71%

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

First Impressions: Minimum

First of all, I really like the graphics. Yes they're minimalist but that's the point. Also, while it is minimalist, it's also crisp and clear and helps you focus on the gameplay and, you know, actually shooting the enemies.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - February 2015 - Little Mac - Punch Out!

Video Game Character of the Month
February 2015
Little Mac
Punch Out!
Overview:
Left, left, right, dodge, dodge, left, left, uppercut and finish him! Ah, not me! Uh hmm... That's enough training for today I think, I have to write the VGCOTM for Little Mac. What do you mean he's a worse boxer than you? He won the world championship and didn't try to finish me! Now, a little bit of information on Little Mac:

Friday, 23 January 2015

App Review No. 80 One More Line

Strong Points:
Great, retro graphics
Nice feel to it
Some drawing capabilities (if you like circles that is)
Addictive
Interesting point: lag changes the drawing you make - making it jagged etc.
Soundtrack is cool

Weak Points:
Hard to learn, harder to master
Only one mode
Frustrating
Can lag quite a bit
Can sometimes grapple the wrong circle
Buttons are not labelled very well
Amount deaths are displayed, plain to see, on the front page

Rating: 80%


Thursday, 22 January 2015

First Impressions: Blacklight: Retribution

I got this game for the PS4 a couple of days ago on a whim because I was bored and it was free. While it was downloading I watched a few streams on the PlayStation service and was instantly reminded of Left for Dead and Call of Duty. This piqued my interest as I had been wanting to play a decent shooter on the PS4 for a while now (I'm just not that good at PC games), so I jumped in.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

First Impressions: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War Game of the Year Edition

Besides being a contender for the 'Longest Game Title Ever Award' it is also a pretty good game. Think Starcraft II set in the Warhammer 40k universe and you're getting somewhere.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

App Review No. 79 Save The Frog

Strong Points:
Addictive
Easy to learn, hard to master
Amazing music
Challenging
Lots of frogs
Graphics are nice for the game

Weak Points:
Frustrating
Other modes would be nice
Games played is displayed front and centre
Difficulty slope is quite steep
Frogs only seem to change colour

Rating: 86%


Saturday, 10 January 2015

Rant No. 2 Team Fortress 2 Weapons

So the recent update for Team Fortress 2 came out and was one of the most anticipated updates: End of the Line. This was a community update that Valve agreed to back and introduce actual items and maps into the game. While I don't want to bring hate on the devs of End of the Line but it is a mix of Valve and them that managed to ruin the update.

The update was meant to add a new map cp_snowplow and some new weapons as well as cosmetics. The only problem was the fact that Valve took one look at cp_snowplow and stated that it was "too complex for new players"! That is too complex?! What on Earth about cp_steel, that is complex to players who are used to Team Fortresses map style. Also when it came to the items, one was added in the Love and War update and the others "were not to a high enough standard". This means that in the entire year we have only received 8 weapons. 8! That is utter rubbish. The leaked Spy vs Engineer update may be the only weapons we get the whole of next year. Oh and speaking about that update, after what we saw with EoL the new weapons could be a new pistol that is shared between them as well as a reskin of the wrench. Also, do Valve love demoman or just hate the other classes? 4 new weapons, for the demoman, in a year while only 8 weapons were added to TF2 this year. That is half of all the weapons made! Spy and Medic haven't received a weapon and Pyro, Engineer and Heavy have only received a single weapon that is shared between them. Why? Why not include the other weapons made specifically for this update? It would have worked and all this "were not to a high enough standard" s***. (Rage Mode activate) HAVE YOU F***ING SEEN THE CLASSIC OR EVEN THE DIRECT HIT THAT HAS A SCOPE ON IT THAT ISN'T EVEN USED. WHAT ABOUT THE EUREKA EFFECT THAT HAS THE TEXTURE OF A SKINNED WHALE WITH ADDED RED RINGS OF B*******?

I do see that Valve had some reasons to not release the maps and weapons, and at least we received some other new weapons for Christmas, but the most of the reasons were c***.

See Ya,
Martin

Friday, 9 January 2015

App Review No. 78 bit.BEAT

Strong Points:
Addictive
Nice electro music
Retro graphics
Interesting control scheme
Challenging

Weak Points:
Can get repetitive
Frustrating
Bugs - columns suddenly move very quickly up and down
Graphics can judder and get stuck
Leaderboards appear as a message box

Rating: 68%


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

First Impressions: The Last Of Us Remastered

I have heard many, many good things about this game. I was going to get it for the PS3 but when the remastered version came out, I thought I would wait until I got a PS4. So nearly two years late to the party, I got the game. I'm glad I came. From the mind-blowing graphics and animation to the amazing characters and voice acting and finally the heart-wrenching moments which will leave you staring at your TV for a while, just contemplating life. Don't worry no (except for some backround information) spoilers.

Monday, 5 January 2015

App Review No. 77 Pixel Gun 3D

Strong Points:
Good Minecraft like graphics and animations
Lots of weapons
Great campaign
Nice multiplayer
Survival is a great way to get coins
Cool skin changer
Lots of multiplayer modes

Weak Points:
Difficult to get coins in early game
Some lag in multiplayer games
Difficult to level up
Long loading times

Rating: 92%

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Review No. 102 Planetside 2 - PC (12+)

Strong Points:
A variety of classes
Three factions to choose from
Four huge maps
Maps are huge
Massive battles are amazing to be in and watch
Lots of vehicles
Virtual Reality training is helpful
Good graphics
Great music
Instant action and respawning helps you get around

Weak Points:
Huge learning curve
Unbalanced
Long distances between battles (takes ages to get anywhere)
Anything except for huge battles can be boring
Weapons and class powers don't mix well (for some classes)
Instant action doesn't always get you instantly into the action

Rating: 86%


Saturday, 3 January 2015

First Impressions: Bioshock

I got this game because of two factors. The first factor was the awesome reviews it had gotten and the general feedback of this game being immersive and atmospheric with a great story (which recent games have failed to do). However, I don't really like horror games too much, preferring comedies and this is when the second factor comes in to play. The Steam sale. I got Bioshock 1, 2 and Infinite for less than I would've paid for one of the games. With that I jumped in. Warning: slight spoilers.

Friday, 2 January 2015

First Impressions: Borderlands

Crash! The opening scene sees the unfortunate end to a Skag (a dog-like creature) as you ram into it at full speed. The next sequence introduces the cast of characters you can play as: Roland the Soldier, Mordecai the Hunter, Lilith the Siren, or Brick the Berserker. I chose Lilith because of her magical capabilities.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year's Resolutions Version 2.0

The time has come again for us to say goodbye to another incredible year for the blog and YouTube. With (at the time of writing) an amazing 34,564 views, 291 posts, 100 games reviews, 76 app reviews, 2 posts with over 2000 views each and some very tired, but happy writers with 1 post a day (bar Christmas and Boxing Day) for the month of December. We've had writers leave, join, return and each have written superb posts for the blog.

Video Game Character of the Month - January 2015 - Rayman - Rayman

Video Game Character of the Month
January 2015
Rayman
Rayman
Overview:
Ah Rayman, the limbless wonder. Just how can you survive, let alone function? Who knows? I'd ask him but I'm afraid he's sleeping and I'd have to waken Polokus as well which could cause a few problems. So, I'm afraid that I'll just have to go with what I've got. (Oh and I know this was meant to be a Christmas themed VGCOTM but, well, you try to find a Christmas themed character that deserves the award! Anyway, Rayman has certainly been in some Christmas themed levels, I'm sure).
A quick bit of info on Rayman: