Thursday, November 4, 2010

James Bond 007: Blood Stone ReviewJames Bond 007: Blood Stone Review

James Bond desperately needs an intervention, and I'm not just talking about his predilection for dry martinis, fast cars, and even faster women. Sure, those old habits all make a return in James Bond 007: Blood Stone, but the British super-spy's most troubling addiction in this third-person shooter is his cellphone. Though Bond's oh-so-trendy smartphone fills a number of roles in the game (including that of an actual phone!), the device mainly serves to facilitate developer Bizarre Creations' take on the "detective vision" from Batman: Arkham Asylum. Much like the Dark Knight's x-ray specs, 007's phone inexplicably allows you to spot objectives and enemies through walls, as well as listing the current alertness level and equipped weapons of any nearby goons. Digital Daniel Craig looks extra preposterous staring at his not-a-Blackberry as bullets whiz overhead, but because the benefits of the enhanced vision mode tend to outnumber the drawbacks, it becomes the sort of tool you begrudgingly abuse throughout the entire game.

Click the image above to check out all James Bond 007: Blood Stone screens.
When your screen's not awash with the smartphone's green, migraine-inducing pixellation filter, Blood Stone captures a lot of what makes the Bond film franchise so enjoyable in the first place. Once again, 007, with this week's interchangeable female companion in tow, embarks upon a globe-spanning mission to unravel a convoluted terrorist conspiracy -- orchestrated by your standard Bond villain with a sinister-looking facial scar, of course. Bizarre completes the checklist with loads of explosions, lengthy chase sequences, and a tied-to-a-chair interrogation scene or two.
That stuff's kind of a given, though. The part Blood Stone does better than previous Bond games is provide an insane gauntlet of action set-pieces that are absolutely worthy of the films that inspired them. One level, for instance, has you sprinting through a chemical weapons facility while the whole thing blows up around you. Another puts you behind the wheel of a large tow truck, careening through the crumbling streets of Bangkok in pursuit of an even bigger truck. Intense sequences like these put an exclamation point on the otherwise standard, cover-based shooting.
The gunplay itself feels fine enough, and the game's cover system is simple and effective. In addition to the Gears of War-inspired shooting, Bond has the ability to go in for a hand-to-hand kill at the press of a button. Not only are these brutal, close-quarters maneuvers fun to watch, but successful takedowns also reward you by charging up a special slow-mo, auto-targeted headshot -- encouraging a balance between stealth, melee, and gunfire.

Hope you guys enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vanquish Review

Sam Gideon is simply the coolest third-person shooter action hero on a modern HD console. Sure, Nathan Drake clambers up ruins and trains with expert skill and quips at the ready, and Marcus Fenix brutes and shoots his way through the Locust hordes. But neither of those fine fellows will kill an enemy with a lethal pirouette. Or slide across the floor like Tom Cruise from Risky Business while looking like Casshern. Nathan or Marcus typically take cover from a handful of bad guys against a conveniently located and sizable chunk of wall -- Sam can use even a tiny girder lying on the floor as cover against a screenful of incoming missiles. And take the time to coolly smoke a cigarette while under such heavy fire (which, as a gameplay element, is actually used to distract the enemy).

Click the image above to check out all Vanquish screens.
Sam is the cool cat that you control in Vanquish, the newest title from development studio Platinum Games (MadWorld, Bayonetta) and videogame director Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil 4, God Hand). I mention all the titles in the previous sentence because they all feature something that Vanquish maintains: a distinct and effortless sense of style. Its plot, like a guilty pleasure action-movie from the '80s, is serviceable and amusing, while not being too intrusive or indulgent -- an improvement over Bayonetta's long-winded nonsense that served as cut-scenes.
In the future, a splinter group of Russians take over a space station, use it to destroy San Francisco, and demand unconditional surrender from the US under threat of taking out New York in the same manner. Sam and his experimental ARS (Augmented Reaction Suit) power armor accompany a detachment of Marines led by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Burns on a mission to breach the space station and take it back from the Russians. The dialogue alternates between traditional plot delivery and amusing banter that seems to openly mock the gung-ho bro-tastic dialogue in similar games.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Samsung Omnia 7 first hands-on

Samsung's Omnia 7, ladies and gents. Equipped with the only Super AMOLED display in Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 stable, the Omnia 7 provides suitably vibrant and richly saturated visuals. To be perfectly fair, we didn't note a major advantage in using its display relative to the other WP7 devices, but that's more a mark of distinction for the other phones on show today. The hardware really is looking polished to perfection on all these devices, and the Omnia 7 isn't really breaking with that trend, showing off a remarkably lightweight body that combines straight lines with a nicely curved back that sits well in the hand. The power/lock button is curiously positioned on the side of the device, but all points of input seemed to perform very nicely once you know where they are. The depressed Windows key is basically identical to the iPhone's, dare we say it, iconic home button. As to performance, we've nothing to say that we haven't said about the other WP7 launch devices, it's blindingly, ridiculously, delightfully quick.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Microsoft "Who needs Blu-Ray?"

Microsoft has offered its most strongly worded prediction yet that Blu-ray will be extinct before it can become the de facto disc format of the video games industry.

MS has previously told CVG that it isn't interested in adopting Blu-ray for Xbox as it instead considers digital media the long-term 'future of home entertainment'.

Now UK Xbox boss Stephen McGill has claimed that the format will be "passed by" before it can make an impact.

"I think people may have spoken about [Xbox's lack of a Blu-ray drive] originally, but that's long gone," he told X360A.

"I think people now recognise what a smart decision it was to keep the pricing low, and actually Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format. People have moved through from DVDs to digital downloads and digital streaming, so we offer full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay. So, who needs Blu-ray?"

McGill's comments come after developers such as Capcom and Mercury Steam have discussed the "problem" of creating games on multiple DVD discs for Xbox 360.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Microsoft, AT&T set Windows Phone 7 date

Mark your calendars, smartphone fans, as the debut of the first Windows Phone 7 devices is nigh. Microsoft just sent out formal invitations for an October 11 press conference in New York to be co-hosted by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega. The event will begin at 6:30 a.m. PT, and will be followed by an open house, at which Microsoft will showcase its current portfolio of products.
It's no surprise that AT&T will take center stage with Microsoft, as the carrier was named a preferred partner from the very beginning and ads for the HTC Mondrian have already leaked onto the Web. However, according to the meeting agenda, T-Mobile representatives will also be on hand to show off that company's Windows Phone 7 handsets and services. Remember, LG, HTC, and Samsung have all received FCC approval for their smartphones.
The question remains of when the handsets will actually be available for purchase.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bungie Punishes 15,000 Halo: Reach Cheaters

Players who exploited a workaround to gain cheap credits are now getting their credits wiped clean.

 If you think you've figured out a sneaky way to get ahead of the pack in Halo: Reach's multiplayer, be warned: Bungie may be on to you, and they don't take kindly to cheaters. The developer has announced that they recently discovered an in-game workaround many players have used to quickly accrue in-game credits, and they've since punished a whopping 15,000 players who exploited the glitch. "Specifically, we targeted an exploit that allowed players to complete a Challenge 20+ times via intentional network manipulation (i.e., disconnects.)," Bungie explained in a forum post announcing the punishments. "Spot checks have revealed the telltale signature of this behavior on every denier so far, so don't be fooled by the protests of innocence. We aren't."
As punishment, Bungie has wiped out the in-game credits of those found to be using the exploit. They also issued these players a one-day ban from earning credits, "mostly to ensure that recipients receive an in-game notification of the action taken." Bungie also insists that "as with any such measure, we have taken the time to carefully select our criteria to eliminate false positives."
And they're not done yet, so if you feel like trying to figure out this exploit yourself, be warned. "A more comprehensive pass will be occurring in the coming week as our automated Banhammer mechanisms grow accurate enough to satisfy our high bar for burden of proof," the post reads. "If you are thinking about getting an easy 50k credits by using this exploit, I would strongly advise you to reconsider."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

U.S. Navy: Video Games Improve Brains, "Fluid Intelligence"

The cognitive effects of certain video-game-style activities are not only impressive but can last a couple of years, a researcher for the Navy recently explained.
If gamers don't want to believe that video games have an effect on them — at least any effect that will cause them to do antisocial things — will they accept research that suggests games make their brains work better?
Here's Ray Perez, program officer for the Office of Naval Research's warfighter performance department:

"We have discovered that video game players perform 10 to 20 percent higher in terms of perceptual and cognitive ability than normal people that are non-game players,"
"We know that video games can increase perceptual abilities and short-term memory," he said. They allow the player to focus longer and expand the player's field of vision compared to people who don't play video games, he added. While there is empirical evidence of increased brain plasticity in video gamers, Perez said, the process behind it is not well understood. His belief, he said, is that the neural networks involved in video gaming become more pronounced, have increased blood flow, and become more synchro
Publish Post
nized with other neural networks in the brain.

Read the full story here

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Medal of Honour Gameplay

The latest video footage of MoH. Looks amazing so far, I am actually anticipating this game alot more then COD:Black Ops. Take a look and feel free to leave a comment about what you guys think.


Armory Pictures

As you can see Bungie has also designed the armory to be more user friendly along with many more options to customize the character models. You will unlock more armor as you progress through the ranks.

Reach Downloaded From Live

"Microsoft put the full version of Halo: Reach on Xbox Live Marketplace for media and reviewers to download with a pricetag of 99,999 Microsoft points to prevent the public from accessing it. A group of users on a game modding site called took credit last week for cracking Halo: Reach.
A user going by the name Joakim posted: "So after alot of .xex cracking etc. Me and my team finally did it, we got Halo: Reach! This is not released for public, and we are not really planning on releasing either."
The file, however, found its way out within 24 hours of that post. The precise source of the leak has not yet been determined.
To play the game, an Xbox 360 hardware modification called JTAG is required. With this, users can install any size hard drive or launch unsigned games through a parallel PC connection."

Friday, October 1, 2010

Halo Reach.

Wow. Simply wow. What an amazing game. From visiuals to audio this game just hits the spot. Many people have been talking about the game.

Anyways I will be posting a more in depth review of the game shortly!