Halo 3: ODST or OSHT?

Now I have always liked the Halo series of games, they are one of the few series of console FPS games that I think actually ‘work’ on a console but I do think that Bungie lost their way a little on this one.

The decision to move away from the main hero Master Chief of the previous games was a brave one, instead in ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) you are a rookie member of one of these drop shock troopers.  A drop goes a bit wrong and your character then spends his time wandering the city finding clues to what happened to the other members of the team, and when you do find a clue you then play a mission in that team members shoes to show you what happened.  This obviously leads up to the final levels of the story once you find out what happened to each.

It is not that bad a concept except the wandering around the city to the next clue does get boring after like the second one, a more linear approach would of been more interesting (for once) I think.  The actual proper missions were fun though, especially the ones where the whole team were together… however there are very few of these which also lets it down.

As you are no longer the super marine that you were in the previous games you now have proper health that doesn’t regen by itself, at first I thought this would be quite a nice change and make combat a bit more of a challenge.. which it did… but not in a good way I feel.  All it tended to do was slow down fights when you were low on health, at least before you could go find cover and recover before and keep the game flowing but now you find yourself just dying alot to allow you to carry on faster.

I realise that this game was a bit of a stop gap title, but it had some nice ideas.  I have always liked the working in a team aspect, its just it didn’t use it enough.  ODST is a fairly enjoyable game if you like the Halo universe but if you were new to the series you wouldn’t be very impressed.  It’s worth noting that I never played this multiplayer but that’s because my idea of being of fun is not being killed over and over and over again against people who play Halo day in, day out!

Lets hope Halo: Reach does a better job.

Global Agenda Conquest mode kicks off

Yesterday the Conquest mode for Global Agenda went live, with agencies and alliances making map grabs where ever they could. This is how the map looked in last nights (GMT) time zone…

If you look closely in the top right of the map, the 5 green hexs… This is territory held by Firestorm Alliance of which Threat Neutralized (my current agency) is part of.

Firestorm (FS) has a good 50/50 split of timezones it seems so we are battling over each timezone map.  At the current count we have 22 hexs under control, lets just hope we can expand on that.

Tonight is Global Agenda night for me, hopefully I can get some conquest action in.

Computer games are bad for kids!

This is a subject that always annoys me, for a few reasons. Mainly as I work in the games industry so I see this as a knock on what I do but also because its usually stated by people who never play games.

Anyway..  this weekend I experienced first hand (not for the first time mind) how games can actually help kids learn and not from those ‘eudugames’ you get out there either, shock horror, proper games!

First up, Little Big Planet.  A game that should need little introduction but in case you have been living under a rock this is a PS3 game that lets you take your custom made Sack Boy (cute huh) over various platform based levels in a bid to get through them in one piece.  The main strength this game boasts is its powerful level editor, this is a tool even I struggle to get to grips with yet leave it in the hands of a six year old for a while and they start to use their imagination and also start to learn.  It wasn’t long before he was using the in game physics engine to experience what size objects can hold other ones up (usually to get his Sack Boy squashed on purpose!) and setting up a little race that even included text triggered at the beginning and end of the levels.  The level was obviously not of the same quality you see created by other users but come on he is only six after all!  The point is he was actively using his imagination to try and create something while having a blast at the same time, how anyone can possible say this sort of thing is bad for a developing child is beyond me.

Second up is an iPhone game called Labyrinth (iTunes link), now I got his free during the iTunes 12 days of Xmas promotion and hadn’t really touched it since however the same six year old as above found in on my phone and discovered that you could also make levels for the game on your PC and download them straight to your iPhone to play them.  To create a level you visit this site with the download code you get in the app and get creating, cue another few minutes of a very happy six year old making all sorts of odd levels and then trying to complete them, each time learning what will and won’t work.  Not quite as complicated as Little Big Planet but the principle is the same.

Now I’m not saying go out and let your kids play the latest Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty if they aren’t old enough, just don’t taint all games with the same brush as there are plenty of games out there that can encourage a young child to use their brain.  Just make sure its in small doses, advice I should probably listen to myself but nevermind 😉

Global Agenda: Conquest Overview

Global Agenda went live yesterday for people who have bought the game, we get an early start where we can level characters to level 10 only before the official launch on Monday 1st Feb.

Above is a good overview on how AvA (Alliance v Alliance) will work for the people with paid for subscriptions.

Apple unveil the iPad… not sure it was worth the hype!

Well this was a bit of a let down! Having now owned an iPhone for the last year and loving it I tend to like hearing what Apple has up its sleeves and ever since their tablet PC was rumoured months ago I had been looking forward to the unveiling.

Full features can be found here.

It basically is a XL version of the iPod Touch or iPhone, which means it suffers from the same limitations as these devices, who wants a tablet PC that can’t multi task?

Yes it has the same good looks we would expect but the odd old school 4:3 aspect ration of the screen is a bit of a let down. 10 hours battery life is good though, although knowing Apple this will probably not be the case if the iPhone is anything to go by.

Apples first gen hardware is usually a bit flaky so it will be interesting to see how it holds up when released in March/April.

What goes around, comes around!

Life has a funny way of coming round and biting you on the arse, that’s what I like about Eve Online.. its like real life in alot of ways.

It wasn’t so long ago that goonfleet and co. managed to disband the Band of Brothers alliance so they lost all sov in their space and found it impossible to hold it so were forced to more out of Delve.

Since then they have been regrouping and rebuilding (now IT Alliance) and have since taken Fountain, they then started to attack Delve to try and reclaim their space.  The attack was in its very early stages when in the early hours of yesterday morning Goon sov started to drop all over Delve for an unkown reason. IT leadership as ever were on the ball and Delve was attacked full on and they started to grab as many stations as they could for themselves.  NOL of course was one of the first.

It would seem that goons did not have enough isk in the wallet that paid for the sov bills, hence sov dropped, not quite the same as what happened to BoB but still its good enough for me as its good to be home!

Goons appear to be abandoning Delve, but lets hope they at least give some sort of a fight.

Uncharted: Drakes Fortune or Misfortune?

Having only got a PS3 at Christmas I am a little behind with the few PS3 exclusives that the system has to offer, however last night I completed Uncharted: Drakes Fortune so figured I would write a little about it.

I can best describe the game as a action/platformer, if you have played any of the Tomb Raider games then you would be write at home in Uncharted. The thing is, Uncharted is a much better game than Tomb Raider… while the basics are the same run and gun action with the odd puzzle platform sections it plays alot better than any Tomb Raider game I have ever played and has a pretty decent story behind it.

Having to run around picking up ammo seems tedious at first (no unlimited ammo guns for you) it actually leads to some pretty intense fire fights as you hear the dreaded *click click* sounds of your gun being empty and having to go find a gun off a previously felled foe…. or go toe to toe with them and beat them up in hand to hand. Oh yes, you can beat up enemies with your fists if you wish, something Miss Croft never got to do!

The game got a bit weird towards the end when you start fighting weird zombie things but it flows nicely and always keeps you entertained, however the last level is a real pain in the arse! more on this in a sec.

Few bad points to mention, the platform bits can suffer from the age old platform problem of needed precision jumping or you fall to your death, and the jump to cover action can attach you to the wrong thing sometimes but all in all they are small gripes and don’t happen that often.

The last level of this game though was a royal pain in the arse to finish, much swearing was heard by the girlfriend as I died over, and over, and over, and over… again!  Once I managed to finally get though all the shooting parts of it, I then died alot on the final hand to hand quick time event as my limited Playstation time caused me to always press the wrong button when it flashed up on screen!

Great game, I am now looking forward to starting Uncharted 2 as I have only heard good things about the sequel.

Medic?!!

globalagenda2

Had a quick game of Global Agenda on my lunch break at work today, and had one of the best games yet!

For nearly half the game I was protecting one of the capture points on my own, even the odd enemy recon player couldn’t shift me off the point..  they de cloak stab you.. you block with melee then shoot them until they run away 😀

I think I must of killed 3-4 recons single handedly before the match was out, that’s even with the medic nerf!

Might have the odd game in the beta still but it feels a bit pointless when the retail early start is only days away, then I can create my medic for real.