Thursday, April 28, 2011

*BREAKING NEWS* Will Xbox be next? Microsoft issues service alert to Xbox Live users.

Microsoft has issued a service alert for players using the matchmaking feature of Modern Warfare 2. Please be advised that users may receive potential phishing attempts via title specific messaging.

From Microsoft - "We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue."

This comes after the Playstation network (Sonys online gaming service) being brought down by hackers 6 days ago. You can be sure that Microsoft is taking the threat seriously and is attempting to avoid a similar incident. However there appear to be cracks appearing in Microsofts security shield everyday. Reports of consoles once outlawed (banned from using the Xbox Live service due to illegal modifications of the unit) being able to once again access Xbox Live.

Will Xbox be next?


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

iFEST 2011

If you're wanting to become an independent developer and you live in Melbourne iFEST is the place to go. While iFEST 2011 has finished I'll give a brief overview of what its all about and get you excited for next year.

So basically iFEST is a day where people who are involved in the independent gaming community gather and talk about different aspects of what you can do should you want to 'go indie.' From developers who had made it like Ed McMillen, the guy who made Super Meat Boy who answered questions from the audience about a range of gaming related topics. To people who have an involvement in the community other than being a developer like Yug Blomberg who is the co-founder of the Mana Bar who told us about his roller coaster experiences throughout the gaming industry as a whole. All very interesting stuff.

My personal favourite talk of the day was from the lads at Anomalous Interactive. They talked about how to start up an independent studio from a business perspective. Everything you needed to know like where to get funding, writing a business plan and even when to move out of your lounge room and into an office. It was all there. I have pages and pages of notes from them alone. Brilliant work guys keep it up.

Along with the talks were some games created by students from the Academy of Interactive Entertainment available to play. The one that stuck out to me was Microbe. It was only in early development but my mate from Thumbpad and myself saw a lot of potential for it to become something like the next Super Meat Boy. I'll review it once it is finished don't you worry about that.

The only advice I have for those who want to go next year is get there as soon as the doors open. Its cold in Melbourne this time of year and unless you have a nice warn coat standing around outside for half an hour is brutal.

Till next Wednesday. Peace.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I think of Red Dead Redemption

You see I started playing Red Dead at the same time as everyone else but because I'd borrowed it off of a mate I had to stop right before I could start the Mexico missions. I have now procured a copy and have picked up were I left off. Where everyone thinks it goes downhill.

Red Dead Redemption is made by Rockstar and is the spiritual prequel to Grand Theft Auto. The game follows a standard Rockstar plot with cowboys and Indians thrown in. You are ex gang member John Marston who is trying to start a new life, your past catches up with you when the government takes your family hostage and you are sent on a quest to kill all of your old gang pals. Sound familiar?

As much as people hate on the gameplay I don't mind it. Yeah it feeds you everything but that just means that you can focus on the plot a bit more. It is basically the time proven gameplay that has appeared in Rockstars most popular titles like Grand theft Auto 4 and Bully. Missions are broken up into strands and they mostly consist of go here and kill/steal that. Never gave the multiplayer a go but from what I've seen it's not all to different to the multiplayer in GTA4 but replace cars and cities with horses and open plains.

Like Fallout 3 (yeah yeah I mentioned it again but it's such a good reference) each string of missions are a story in themselves that sort of relate to the plot but in reality John Marston would have just beat it out of the people that give the mission and the whole game would be over in an hour. My good friend over at Level 3 sums up Red Dead quite simply when he said "I get it but I don't like it." What I thought was the main story (Doing the governments dirty work to save your family) turns out to be just part of it. The game splits itself into two parts and for the sake of spoilers I wont mention when this happens but it is pretty obvious when you play the game. Its worth sticking through till the end because the final mission is very fitting (Although I did think it a bit silly that it was a stranger mission) if you're going for 100% completion then it is a must anyway. The story is really good in the first part and as much as I'm hating on the second part I don't mind it to much. It tells you the story of what happens after what I'll call the 'main story' is completed. The final mission that I mentioned earlier while leaving the game open for a sequel still ties up all the loose ends of the current game. Something Modern Warfare 2 failed to do.

The side challenges are worth doing even if you don't care about getting 100% completion. The outfit challenges are worth putting in the play hours not just to play dress up with John Marston but also allow you do do certain things in game like cheat in poker or not get caught by the police. While there are some that are just there to play dress up like the duster outfit or the Mexican poncho.

The soundtrack is exactly what I expected. The soundtrack to any Clint Eastwood movie during his hey day. However at certain major events throughout the game a more modern song will play which sets the mood for what you're seeing and it does it well. Rockstar really nailed the soundtrack for the game.

If you like cowboy movies and have enjoyed previous games the Rockstar series like Grand Theft Auto then you'll enjoy Red Dead redemption.

9 out of 10


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Red Dead Pre-Order Bonuses Available for Download

Rockstar has announced this week that the items you got when you pre-ordered the game are available for download to everyone on the PlayStation Store for about a dollar and the Xbox Live Marketplace for 80 Microsoft Points each. The items available and the description provided by Rockstar are below:

The Deadly Assassin Outfit: John Marston's Deadly Assassin outfit causes your Dead Eye meter to regenerate at twice the speed.
The Golden Guns Weapon Pack:
Available for use in single player, the player who wields the Golden Guns receives more Fame for each kill. 
The War Horse:
There are countless horses to be found in the massive world of Red Dead Redemption, but none is stronger, faster or tougher than the War Horse.

I'm glad this is happening. It really annoys me that if I buy a regular copy of the game I don't get the whole game. It also gives players with more money an advantage in game. Especially when it comes to earning achievements. I don't mind that I don't get an art book or a figurine when I buy the normal version of a game just in game content annoys me. It's like because you can afford it you get an in game leg-up.

Next week I'm posting what I think of Red Dead Redemption.

Till then Peace.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rockstar reveals L.A Noire's Achievement List

Rockstar has released the achievement list for its upcoming title L.A Noire which will be released in May this year. I'm really looking forward to this game and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

The list seems pretty straight forward and nothing on there strays from the kind of achievements that you would see in any other Rockstar game. They mostly consist of get the highest rank in this and complete these tasks during certain missions and gamerscore you shall receive. One achievement I found interesting was the Auto fanatic achievement which asks you to drive every car in the city. It encourages you to explore the map and take advantage of the open world style of gameplay.

The list of achievements is below. 

  • A Cop On Every Corner - Complete a single street crime case.
  • Johnny On The Spot - Respond to 20 street crime cases.
  • The Long Arm Of The Law - Complete all street crime cases.
  • The City Of The Angels - Reach 100% Game Complete.
  • The Up And Up - Complete a story case with a five star rating.
  • Shamus To The Stars - Complete all story cases with a five star rating.
  • The Brass - Achieve maximum rank.
  • Not So Hasty - Stop a fleeing suspect with a warning shot as an LAPD Detective.
  • Asphalt Jungle - Chase down and tackle a fleeing suspect on foot as an LAPD Detective.
  • Traffic Stop - Disable a suspect vehicle with help from your partner.
  • The Straight Dope - Use evidence to prove a lie as an LAPD Detective or Investigator.
  • One For The File - Find and inspect a clue as an LAPD Detective or Investigator.
  • Golden Boy - Clear a case finding every clue as an LAPD Detective or Investigator.
  • The Plot Thickens - Find and solve an inspection puzzle.
  • Lead Foot - Keep the needle above 80mph for more than ten seconds while driving.
  • Miles On The Clock - Drive more than 194.7 miles.
  • Wooden Overcoats - Bring down a total of 30 bad guys with head shots.
  • Dead Men Are Heavier - Shoot and kill a total of 100 bad guys.
  • Roscoe And Friends - Kill at least one bad guy with every gun.
  • Magpie - Find and inspect 95% of all clues.
  • The Shadow - Tail a suspect without being spotted, in a single case.
  • The Third Degree - Correctly branch every question in every interview in a single story case.
  • The Hunch - Use five intuition points in conversation with a single suspect, correctly branching each question.
  • Star Map - Discover all landmark buildings around the city.
  • Public Menace - Rack up $47,000 in penalties during a single story case.
  • The Moose - Tail Candy Edwards from the parking lot to her destination without using cover or going incognito.
  • Keep A Lid On - Complete a brawl without losing your hat as an LAPD Detective or Investigator.
  • Auto Enthusiast - Drive 5 different vehicles.
  • Auto Collector - Drive 40 different vehicles.
  • Auto Fanatic - Drive every vehicle in the city.
  • Hollywoodland - Find and inspect all gold film canisters.