Thursday, 27 October 2011

Games to Play Before You Die: Heavy Rain

Games to Play Before You Die: Heavy Rain.
By Joe Feery.

Heavy Rain is a Playstation 3 exclusive title, released in February 2010. It follows the story of 4 characters, Ethan Mars, Scott Shelby, Norman Jayden and Madison Paige as they all try to solve the case of the Origami Killer. The Origami Killer is a Serial Killer who abducts children, and after 6 inches of rainfall, will be found dead, drowned. Ethan Mars is the latest father to have his child abducted. He is given challenges by the Origami Killer to complete, to prove he is willing to make sacrifices to save his son. Scott Shelby is a retired policeman now working as a Private Investigator, trying to solve the case. Norman Jayden works for the FBI and has been specially drafted in to help solve the case. Madison Paige is a Journalist whose path crosses with Ethan, and she eventually conducts her own investigations.

It won 2010's Game of the Year from CNN and Gaming Union. Heavy Rain also won Gamespy and IGN's "Best PS3 Game of 2010"

The game is very advanced for its time. It uses state of the art graphics technology, Facial recognition technology has been used for the characters, so the characters are actors that have been hired to play the roles. The game also uses motion capture technology, so the actors are almost making a film.

The Campaign itself is very short, which could be an advantage for casual gamers, like myself. One of the things Heavy Rain may do is make you want to play it over and over again. There are many ways the storyline can go, there are several minor and major moments that can affect the outcome of the story. This isn't a game where you fail for making a bad move, failing is part of the storyline.

A very "cool" feature of the game is that you can see your characters thoughts, and if you press a specified button you can hear your character explain why they are thinking about that in full. For Example, if it says "anxious", your character will explain why they are anxious.

Heavy Rain's storyline is what makes this game for me. It is so simple, a fathers love for his son, yet I was so gripped. I legitimately wanted to succeed for Ethan, not many games make me feel like that. I didn't want the game to end, and I played through the game several times to get the best possible ending and the worst possible ending, and I genuinely felt bad when I got the bad ending.

The Achievements/trophies are quite easy to come by, a lot of them you will get by simply playing the game. Getting 100% is hard though as some trophies will take a long time and patience to complete.

If you have a Playstation 3 and somehow haven't played this game, buy it now! It's probably going to be in the bargain bucket of your local gaming store by now, for no more than £15. If you haven't got a PS3, I'd suggest finding out which of your friends have a PS3 and suddenly become best friends with them until they invite you to their house where you can play it haha.

This is one of my favourite games of all time, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. If you do get it because of this blog, Let me know! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks Guys, please leave your feedback, I hope you enjoyed me first post.

Joe Feery.

Trailer for Heavy Rain.

Audio: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10
Replayabilty: 9/10
Challenge: 6/10
Overall 9:25/10

Contact me at the following,

Xbox Live: Feery123
Playstation Network: Feery123
Twitter: @feery123 I'll follow you back!/feery123

GTA V!!!!!!!!!!!

GTA V (or five to non-gamers or roman literate people) has been offically announced. The mass excitement that one sentence, and believe me, it is one sentence, saying yes the game that you have expected to be announced is being announced, and the first trailer is next week. Wednesday around 6pm British Time. The excitement it has created is unparalleled to me.

And I mean this, some much speculation when the developer dosent give you anything is a good thing right. The main source of all the discussion mainly is where this new game will be set. The one thing that RockStar North have done well over the year is creating new areas for you to murder, shoot, and blow the fuck out of.

They have always done amazing cities. Liberty City which they recently returned to after around 8 years, and transformed it into an amazing replica of New York City of which it is based. Taking its name from a famous statue.

Originally apearing very early in the series, Liberty City has been a stand out design from rockstar. It was the first city i had the pleasure of tearing a new one for. 10 Years ago as an impressionable 13 year old boy, this was one of the games that helped turn me into the man/gamer i am today. Coming out originally on the Playstation 2, it later released on Microsoft's new console the Xbox. A theme that is going to be later repeated with later titles as you will see.

This was also Rockstar's first foray into a 3d world. Each previous entry in this series was from a top down view in a 2d world.

The next city of rockstar's choosing to recreate was the city of Miami. Yes the South Florida city may not have had the same name, but this is a lot of people's favourite game of all time. Especially the series. Set during a musically superior decade of the 1980's, the game not only had a fantastic radio soundtrack, but looked amazing, with great looking characters, in terms of fashion, the cars were superb, and the city looked great. Taking it's name from a successful Miami based Police Tv Show. Vice City was every bit of enjoyment millions of us had from playing it.

Now Vice City is a little bit like Liberty City in its fact that the few islands that make up the city, are very urban based with little country side based land. Not sure you can class the golf club as non-urban. I'm not entirely sure the guys and gals at rockstar would not want to repeat this theme of a city, straight after Liberty City, (especially with the upgrades to technical and graphical power these days) it could work, but with nods towards titles like Call Of Duty, some gamers are becoming more aware of the same stuff appearing in game series.

A reason for Vice City to make an appearance is that Rockstar North wanted to put a fair bit of countryside into Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV, but declined to and worked really hard on the city element. And boy did it pay off. Now remember a few lines above I told you that Vice City had a distinct lack of country side in the original game based there, this could be an good reason for them.

The Last new entry in the GTA Series was in 2003/04 and took us from the East Coast of the U.S.A to the West Coast. Instead of one city, Rockstar gave us 3, and massive amounts of countryside to fill in the time.  Set around California, we were given Los Santos, (Los Angeles) San Fierro, (San Francisco) and Las Venturras ( Vegas baby) and each city had its own part of country side to enhance each island/city. The Vegas island had a more desert theme, San Fran had its own mountain in it, and LA had more little villages and scenic routes for you to drive through.

Now if for reason stated above, rockstar wanted to concentrate on the city aspect for gta iv, this might turn them off. Some Gamers criticized the size of San Andreas, saying it was too big to find everything in it. I loved it Personally, and still have the previous generation of games in this series to this day.

Again if they want to allow themselves a massive area, Can you imagine three Liberty City style city with the level of detail they showed in iv. I cannot, think it would be too much detail to do.

One area of massive contention though is one city in particular from San Andreas, Los Santos. You see, rockstar's last game was called L.A Noire, and required them to scan pretty much the entire city so they could recreate 1940's Los Angeles. Meaning they had/have an entire city for them to mess around with, or even recreate los santos into. (I still remember that city off by heart from the old game) now with an already scanned city, there's still a lot of work, and would they venture into a real world setting, (remember LA may not like the way it could portrayed by Rockstar)

If i was a betting man, i would say the last option seems the front runner. Now if it were up to me i would go for a vice city game, while having half my staff working on a san andreas map to see if it were possible. that is just me though.

Either way, or option, this debate shall rage through the night and coming days till all is revealed come wednesday evening.

Keep Gaming and producing moments of grand awesomeness they shall reign on this blog.

Regards Mason Cooper 42.

Notes: There will be a new writer joining the blog, Joe Feery. He is currently on a piece for Heavy Rain and why you should play it, so look forward to that.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Been a while

since i last posted on here, been a bit busy with several games.

After Gears, Fifa 12, and F1 2011, i brought, forza motorsport 4 on its release day. amazingly i have only played it once. so far i think the achievement list is fairly easy. i have accquired 17 of them in a couple hours, leaving 31 to go.

they seemed to have improved it, and while he wont always be to everyone's taste, Jeremy Clarkson adds great depth and passion to the opening movie to this game and adds some great commentary in autovista mode, which i dont think adds that great a deal to the game. yes the cars are pretty to look at and you can explore them, but it would be easier to find these out on the internet, and to be honest, clarkson and co at top gear do just a good job of listing everything on supercars before handing it over to the stig.

speaking of top gear, the track is much different to what i remember, i never realised it was a figure of 8, online races could be carnage if you can get a team mate to block and potentially take someone out as the two tracks cross over, and said point is pretty quick going in both directions.

good list of tracks, varying from real, (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Laguna Seca, Mugello, Suzuka, Nurburgring, Silverstone) to some classic forza 3 tracks, iberia, is the only one i can remember of the top of my head. One of their featured tracks is the Bernesse Alps, which can only be described, as an increible job by turn 10.

In good racing cars, the kind that you would see at le mans, and the track is incridibly quick and challenging at the same time. not to mention stunning to look at. Graphically the game is amazing, plays well, with or without the aids.

the top gear events so far i have encountered have only been the car bowling, which has fun. oh and not to mention there is top gear fabled car football. i am looking forward to that whenever i get around to playing it.

Now some of the achievements in the game look like they are going to take ages, and i need to find out just what the hell is a unicorn car.

It is being added to my list of games you need to play before you die. Turn 10 deserve that much of your time.

i have been playing a lot of fifa 12 recently, with my pro club Soup a Star5.

somehow last year, this team would be 50-50 in terms of results. this year we have been getting the results and we are top 1000 material. we just need to keep this form out.

scoring goals isn't our problem, its keeping the oppo out of my goal, as im the goalie. im getting better but, i still could do with a couple of defenders to help me out back there.

Thats all for now, keep gaming and producing moments and games to keep me talking.

regards, Mason Cooper

Monday, 3 October 2011

Watching Madden or real life.

I am Currently watching the Sunday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets.

Not quite half time yet, i am watching a saved recording of the game on my sky box.

The two defences are dominating, and its kinda reminding of the days where you have someone who has never played a madden game before, and you are a 500 game veteran. Seriously, the newbie would be controlling the Jets, two defensive tds, a kick return for them, i would be allowing them to keep them playing, but there have been lots of great defensive play from both sides tonight. unbelievably this is still a game with 2:!4 left in the first half.

weird, just reminds me of that gaming situation.

Gears of War 3

Ok, so I have brought a couple of games recently, Gears Of War 3, Formula 1 2011, and CSI: Hard Evidence.

Lets start with Gears 3. I remember reading in a magazine that the chances of Epic (the game developers) messing this game up were slim to none. Spot on, about 3 years to develop this, plenty of time to decide where they want to go with the story, which is important to me, but not to much to other gamers. Remember that originally with Gears Of War 1, Epic were taking a big risk, as all game developers take with all triple aaa titles. There is no guarantee that the game will sell well. Therefore in my eyes the story has to be...

a) intriguing, the game has to stand out, especially in the shooter genre, with is fairly saturated with some rather decent titles. with the three big franchises of Halo, Cod, Battlefield, already being established with some great sale figures out there. granted CoD and Battlefield were at this time big sellers on the Personal Computer market, and still are to this day. Halo was huge on the original Xbox console, with Halo two racking up loads and loads of money for Bungie and Microsoft. Gears of War originally felt a little like Halo, in its format of human against a species of which are different and trying to kill the humans.

Another Unique Selling Point was the use of the cover throughout the game, and Cliff Bleszinski really emphasises this point a lot, placing a small speech about it in the first page of the instruction manual. What this system actually achieved, i think, was a (well it wasn't really brand new) but the use of the local enviroment in a battlefield as cover felt brand new to me. The cover system here felt smoother, and well developed, not a lot of games have adopted a good cover system over the 5 years since this release, but it did introduce a new element to online multiplayer, with lots of guys who like to stay in the same spot, looking for that perfect spot with good cover. Before Gears of War, I probably would of gone straight into the battlefield and probably of gotten my arse kicked. To be fair, I still do, if I dont play smart.

In fact since this game was released, i have seen cover based systems pop up all over the place, and infact games like battlefield have developed graphic engines where you can destroy cover.

b) the story has to be important, as originally, that is one of the selling points on the back of the games casing. Firstly it would have to be a story that appeals to the audience you are gunning for (i think that was bad for a pun but whatever) otherwise they wont buy it. I mean if Epic had made a game almost essentially the same as halo, not a lot of people would of brought this game, as they would essentially stick with halo and not make the mistake of wasting £45 on another game essentially the same.

The story was quite similar to halo with some themes like the survival of the human race, (mass effect series, halo, gears of war, among other game series all encompass this theme of fighting for the future of the human race as a main theme. But there was a significant story to it, that felt different enough that it helped in my own opinion.

But the main unqiue selling point of this game was the chainsaw with a gun attached in the lancer assault rifle, not only does it look the dogs bollocks, but it was one of the most reliable guns in any gaming series. good firing rate, great accuracy, good damage, the trifecta of what makes a good gun.

I essentailly think you need to have this game. It is one of the better games of all time. To be honest, this series would have to be to hit the $1 Billion in game sales.

As a rating, it gets a full 10 out of 10. Superb.

Other Gaming Tidbits.

Playing Gears of War 3 online with a couple of friends in the actual multiplayer, not co-operative campaign. playing on a map called Mercy, in team deathmatch. (read first to twenty kills win) and so me and my mate Hirad85, held down one of the two major points on the map. One is the elevated platform with heavy weapons, But it is open, to flanking, and fire from all over the map. The opposition had not only won the first round, but had this location on lockdown, and the other three teammates were being destroyed. Me and Hirad had the church locked down, with me covering both entrances to the church. Hirad taking control of the        Boomshot (grenade launcher).

So a round down, (with two rounds equalling a victory) and with three teammates being destroyed, and our respawns depleting fast. 3 minutes left to hole out. or 7 kills to take the victory.

Two people come in, one boomshot, and shotgun shell later and both are eliminated, leaving every player remaining in the game,  just one life remaining each. and the only advantage we have is the boomshot, of which we have one shot left for, before it respawns just two more shots. The other team have every other weapon on the map available, including smoke grenades, and killer grenades, and  two entrances leaving a flanking maneuver or even a flushing out maneuver as me and Hirad discussed.

One more moron (and i use that term loosely as he came in on his own) comes and goes without too much fuss. I go to cover the Left Hand entrance. Hirad moves up on the right hand entrance and opens fire taking out number 4. taking us from a 2 on 1 handicapped match, to a straight up fist fight, up close and personal on this game means there is every chance of getting a one shot kill.

We see the other team starting to disjoint, and seperate ever so slightly, Hirad (after recollecting his boomshot ammunition) fires and with about 1:15 left in the game, takes out a third man leaving two left. (I was covering and providing intelligence to my team mate. The other teams star performer, is we think/thought collecting ammunition, as his sole remaining team mate comes in and is dispatched with our final boomshot. 45 seconds and counting.

We both leave the safety of the church to take the fight to and hopefully at the time end this fight. we head towards the platform but our opponent is not there. we spot him with about 8 seconds ago, and open fire downing him with two seconds to go, and my only kill of the round, :) comes about a quarter of a second from time, winning the round, and to just take it to a deciding round. We win that next round 20-3. needing just two kills to win, they essentially lost the match 27-3.

This is exactly what a good game does, whether playing with friends, or against your enemies, the pace at which my heart was beating throughout that 5 minute stretch in round 2 was unbelivable, and the satisifaction of the result, was fantastic.

This is just one small mode of the entire multiplayer of  Gears 3. the pace may have felt quicker throughout the majority of the gameplay. which is one major worry i had for this game, is that the multiplayer would lose the tactial battles, which gears of war 2 fantastically created, in one such mode guardian, you could essentially create a mini fortress to protect a leader, the pace of modes like this was much slower and had a tactial element to it, do you rush the leader, knowing there will defintely be a grenade or two tagged, resulting in a lot of pain for you, but at least will create an opportunity for your teammates to attack. Do you sit back, and protect your leader, adding extra firepower to the defensive fortifications your leader may have already set up. or you sit in the middle of the map and stop opposing forces from getting close to your leader, remembering that they could respawn nearer to your leader than where you killed them.

Another big game release came up last friday, Fifa 12, i havent quite picked that game up yet, intend to, although next week on the 14th, Forza Motorsport 4 comes out, which one do i go for?? hmmm, not to mention 11 days later Battlefield 3 comes out, whats a gamer to do???

Regards to all my readers, keep gaming and producing moments like the one stated above, email me or contact me at twitter, i have had to completely change my email and twitter accounts as my email was compromised and that leaves me unable to check emails, resend password details, etcetc.!/MasonCooper4

Keep Gaming, MasonCooper42