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Well, this was definitely a first for me
Frustrated Gamer Rift
As a game collector, I have vowed to never trade nor sell my games.

Of course, unless times are extremely tough and I have no choice BUT to part with them. God forbid that ever happen... D:

Well today, I experienced another deciding factor: Being completely unable to play the game.

Less than a week ago, I picked up Battlefield 3 for my XBOX 360. I would've gone PC, but my machine will need a little more oomph to it. That, and a good handful of coworkers had gotten it for their 360s.

One thing I noticed was the fact that the game came split on two discs, with the campaign being on disc 2. So out of the blue, I figured I'd tackle the campaign first and knock it out of the way. I popped in disc 2 from the get-go and waited... and waited...

Was it a bad disc??? Then a sudden annoyance came to my head... "No. They couldn't have done it like this," I thought. I swapped in disc 1 and booted it up, and the game menus came up. Then came the initial update... and then came something that made my jaw drop. A required file installation of 1.5 gigabytes in order to play the campaign in HD. What the flying fuck?

After that nice little slow-ass install, I was finally able to access the menu and select the campaign. It then asked me to insert disc 2... *head-desk* I knew it.

After a flashy, seizure-inducing intro with the logos, I watched this guy zip over a bridge, land on the roof of a train, and kick the window out from one of the cars. I picked the first guy off without a hitch, and right as I was about to land a headshot on the next guy, the game froze. Like not even ten seconds of gameplay passed, and it fucking froze.

Then the realization came to my mind... "No fucking way." Yep, I had to restart my 360, take out disc 2, put disc 1 back in, start the game up, and then get prompted to pop disc 2 back in. This wasn't a quickie process, mind you. I had to wait for the game to load up, get past all the logo shit, and wait for the menu to arrive. Then add in the loading process for the disc swap.

Ooh! It saved! I don't have to watch the intro again. So I proceeded to start killing guys in the train and..... it freezes again....?

You gotta be fucking kidding me. Why the hell is it freezing? Now I was getting pissed. Twice in a row it froze before I even got INTO the game, and I had to once again repeat the painstakingly stupid process of disc swapping for another five minutes.

I also noticed that it will not let you install disc 2. You can install 1 just fine, but anytime you try to do anything with 2 outside of launching the campaign when the game tells you to, it just sits there as an unreadable disc. I noticed that disc 2 would barely spin at all, so maybe I'd have to install 1 in order for it to work.

By this time, I was losing interest fast, almost to the point where I wanted to break the game in half and stab things with the pieces.

After another eight minutes of waiting for the thing to install, I gave the game one more go. I followed the prompt to insert disc 2, watched as my campaign loaded, whipped out my pistol to start railing bad guys with bullets on the train, and..... YOU SON OF A BITCH!

Okay, at first, I thought it might have been my 360. But being that I had played other games for hours and hours without a snag recently, I had serious doubts. I popped in random games (both installed and non-installed) and played all of them with no issues at all. I also assumed it might have been the disc drive, since i normally play my games installed in order to reduce wear and stress.

Nope. By now, I was done. I was fucking done. Infuriated beyond recognition, I deleted the game from my 360, put both discs back in the case, threw the game in the car, and drove to Gamestop where I got a $40 credit towards my reserved copy of Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

So that's my new reason to trade a game in: If I can't even fucking play it!

Some may yell "Well, 'Rift, you should know better that the multiplayer is where it's at!" No. If ANY part of the game is completely unplayable by any means, that's a broken game. It's a game I never want to remain in my library. I might get it for the PC later, but right now, I'm too agitated at EA and DICE for publishing a version that's such a blatant mess.

You guys just gave Activision another easy victory this Fall. :|

--- x-posted to my own journal ---

Review: Ace Combat Assault horizon - 360
Ace Combat Assault horizon – 360.

There comes a point in a franchises life, and this is normally after the 5 - 6th game when an important crunch point is landed; do you change or not? You see it's at this point where fans and haters will start to comment that a certain title is getting stale or old and lifeless as a consequence. It often means that a developer has the choice of either keeping things the same, which will keep fans happy, but isolate new comers and haters who will be quick to accuse that the game is being milked to death, and boring (see any Activision major franchise of the last few years). Or they could mix things up and try something different with the franchise, reinvigorate it with life and innovation that will draw new fans in. However that suffers at the cost of long standing and devoted fans who think that it's now changed too much, has become dumbed down or way to alien to them.

It sort of leads to this type of thing....

Ace combat Assault horizon really falls into the later, and as a fan well, yes, I want to scream “BETRAYAL!!!” to at the top of my voice. This is after a way too alien, way too dumbed down, way too popularised, and way too marketing executive bound than previous entries to the franchise, and as a long standing fan I will admit I don't like any of it.

Yes I will admit that this review is going to be fan biased but what are you going to expect OK? After all the biggest mistake that the marketing executives made was that the first in the line of people to lay down cash for this would be long standing fans of the games, not new comers yet to experience it. Thus it falls flat on it's face.

First up lets talk about the games big new touted feature DFM or Dog fight mode. God “Dog fight mode” in a game about “Dog fighting”, the fucking dumb marketing decisions are already showing. But anyway this new feature essentially automates close, gun range dog fighting by locking the opposing jet on screen and with you having to keep manoeuvre to keep him in the firing arc of your guns and missiles. At first with the early scripted dog fights, it's not bad and very exhilarating as you zip through buildings, under loading cranes and doge falling factory chimney, then see your opponent explode in a blaze of shrapnel, debris and oils close up. However it is something of a one trick pony that has been wheeled out just to sucker in new players, the first few times you use it it's fine but by the second and third it starts to become dull, more so once you realise that you have to use it for almost every dog fight in order to win. Using this against the bosses, but having to do it for every mook is tiresome. Also the evasive manoeuvre mode is un-logical too, to make it work you have to slow down, level up and then hit L1 and R1 to fire the airbrakes and flip the situation. It's too easy once you get the hang of it, and you will keep shooting bad guys down constantly in this fashion, but at the same time you will feel utterly vulnerable as you slow to a crawl and level up with someone on your tail. As a vet of the series I kept getting shot down a lot because this was really the opposite of what I normally want to do; hit the gas and turn like crazy.

Also ASM mode (or basically the air to ground attack mode), makes ground attacks too easy by neatly giving too clear a shot on a wave of enemy ground targets. Oh and the one time that I wished that I had this assist it didn't show up meaning it's so inconsistent it's pointless.

The issue I have with DFM and ASM is that they are dumbing down the experience, combat is more about working your way into the right position to hit combo L1 R1 and watch as stuff goes boom after a near automated, barely controllable section, that seems to emphasise explosions and stuff getting fucked up over the fluid dog fights that AC is known for.

It's not just there that AC falls over. There are constant “money shot” close ups on missiles and bullets that happen from time to time to show off the explodey stuff. This got distracting and detaching fast and even caused me to crash once or twice since the camera was looking at my missile and not with my plane that was flying right into the side of a mountain. Also your wingmen are utterly useless, to the point that I was sure that when the bullets and missiles started to be traded they all buggered off for a cup of Charlie while I had to deal with the MIG's. There is even a lack of control of your immediate wingman, which is a blow seeing how pervious instalments had that it's again a sign that the series again has become dumbed down, but either way without him watching my back at times some sections of the game became artificially harder than they should have been.

It's not all bad news, the new bomber and helicopter sections are fun, and actually really well made and playable. In fact the helicopter bits feel like a traditional ace combat with rotor blades as you zip over the battlefield basting with your cannon and rockets as the situation constantly changes. The bomber too had a lot of fun flying a big bulky B1 Lancer under a radar net then popping out for some bombing runs on a ICBM site, which was a lot of fun. It's just a shame that there are only 3 of these sections in total (2 heli and 1 bomber). The door gunner and AC-130 sections are fine, and even the AC-130 section feels a bit better than it did in CoD4, but they feel too much like marketing decisions made to entice in FPS shooter fans who would over look a AC game otherwise.

The other big down point is the story, and sadly this is to me where this game loses the Ace Combat badge, it's crap, pure crap. Despite being by a Author who has gotten into the New York times Best seller list (mostly for ghostwriting for Larry Bond) this sucks. Gone is the human tales featuring love, loss, pictures from the enemy’s POV which often paints them in a noble light, and intresting concepts from which the story pans out (Ace Combat 4 followed the oposing yellow squadron more than you and was told through the eyes of a young boy, Ace combat zero/Belkan war had the story told by a reporter who wanted to find out more about you). These of then lead to moments of unexpected emotion considering the nature of the subject mater.

Assault horizon says fuck that gas, lets just rip off Black hawk down and call of Duty 4. Let's have some vapid characters, chase some evil revenge bent russians who are armed with a nuke and want to blow up as many Americans as possible, while staging a coup in the russian federation. Sod characterisation, new view points and painting your enemy’s as human beings who are fighting through fear, duty or just because they have to, no fuck it lets have some moustache twirling Russians who just utter evil. Oh and as for having a faceless hero and some characters on your side who are somewhat likeable, lets have a bunch of bland blank slates with no character what so ever. Even the name protagonist (a first for the series) is a hollow fuck who keeps whining about a bad dream where he constantly dies.

It's also terrible that the major twist is so flaming obvious that they should have had a big flashing neon sign over the character in question with the word TRATOR instead of that section of script.

The plot is to say forgettable but thankfully with a lack of challenge due to bizarre auto-regenerating health and armaments (again another marketable decision to attempt to apeal FPS players) means that the game is over in a fairly short time which somehow feels like it's for the best.

Overall Ace Combat: Assault horizon feels like the 90's Batman movies. The first two Tim Burton ones where action packed and very artsy and dark, but in the eye's of the executives not exactly the most marketable of shit, so they booted him off and replaced him with Joel Schumacher, who made more marketable and appealing movies even though their quality was abysmal. This is the same only instead of Joel Schumacher they got Michael Bay given all of the explosion porn and Jingoism that is present while the intelligent stuff got booted out of the door. However that said this is more accessible than any of the previous games so if your new to the franchise give it a shot and work back, things to say do get better working in reverse.

But for us fans of the games this is “Baby's first Ace Combat”. Dumbed down in every sense and melts your mind with the pyrotechnic overload.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good.

A lot more accessible for newcomers to the franchise.

Somewhat more forgiving.

The new helicopter and bomber sections rock.

DFM modes are very pretty to watch.

The soundtrack still kicks ass.

AC-130 and door gunner sections aren't original but are fairly good.

The Bad.

DFM is overused and gets old fast.

DFM also makes the game a cakewalk.

Slow motion sections are very distracting.

DFM even starts to get in the way.

No mission briefings.

Wingmen are NO help what so ever, and can't be controlled.

Distinct lack of challenge.

The Ugly.

Terrible been there and done that story.

Vapid characters.

Regenerating health and missiles are a head thump.

Feels too alien for series veterans.


2.5 lumps of falling, exploding, oil spewing metal out of 5.

Review: Mindjack - 360
Mindjack – 360.

You know I've played a lot of bad games in my time, and some even worse that the crap that I've actually reviewed in the past few years, but in all honestly as bad as a lot of recent titles are I could find at least 1 if the only 1 redeeming feature. I mean Kane and Lynch 2: Dog days was more dog shit than anything else, but it had better gun fights and gameplay than the first game, Project slypheed and least gave me a laugh or two from some it's inane dialog, the dreadful 2008 Alone in the Dark had at least some good graphics when it came out. Oh and even the utterly abysmal "Turning point" at least had a good opening idea, and a scene where I fatally bog flushed a Nazi.

Mindjack hasn't got any redeeming features, every aspect just helps build the faecal water slide with the sewerage farm splashdown. Nothing I repeat NOTHING is good about this game. I would normally start with a new game series or original title by talking about the plot, but honestly while there is one, I am at 6 hours in and I still have no idea about what is going on other than the random calling of fictional company names, spouted by the voice actors who are barely doing this “voice acting” thing.

There isn't even much to look at either. The game only offers the most blandest of environments with the most bland of texturing, and the animation is so shitty, stiff and unconvincing that even the cast of thunderbirds, captain scarlet, singray and any Gerry Anderson “Supermarionation” show would be laughing at the feeble excuse that this game calls movement.

Even the colour pallet isn't good with most objects being dull grey or a horrid bland white, further dragging down the enthusiasm levels. Oh and there is even levels that have lighting that is way too dark, or baked in a pukeworthy hue. I just loved the one that was baked in jaundice yellow, making the game look like it was being played on a 20 year old MK1 gameboy.

The gameplay was supposed to be the selling point of this clusterfuck mess of a game, but that even falls flat on its face into a big pile of turds. For a start when you start the main game (and providing that you are online) you are given the choice to “host” the game. This allows fellow players to essentially “hack” your game, and take control of enemy’s and allies alike. This was supposed to be a way of making deathmatch work its way into the single player action with each bought of combat ending with a winner and loser screen. It also works as well as you would expect, in that it doesn’t at all. You just get constantly invaded by “red” oposing players who will use nothing but exploits and the major advantage of being able to “hack” any solider or civvy of their choice. You can't rebalance teams to stop this “griefing” and you will hate being constantly being beaten by a player who has a major advantage over you, oh and it only increases your time that you are playing this shitty game.

To make things worse the AI is a fucking joke. Prone to stupid actions that make no sense what so ever, like walking slowly out of cover in the middle of a roadway while shooting at you with little to no accuracy, or just forgetting that you are there and failing to attack. There is even a boss or sort of boss not that I could tell that, that seemed to be some kind of ninja but all they did was run about aimlessly, past me, my partner and everything else. The cutscene before bigged them up as some kind of big threat, but the hardest thing was working out where they where as they shot about the arena like headless chickens. Even the friendly AI suffers with this at times as it often just mills about in the open, fails to do anything useful and you end up picking it back up 9 times out of ten after it gets gunned down repeatedly. If you constantly fail levels it's not because of the AI of those that you are fighting, more often the retarded nature of the one who you are fighting with.

Oh then there is the big robots that you don't even fight but blow up on their own accord after killing all the mooks that surround them, although the game never tells you that.

Oh and one other thing, I hope you drained your bladder between levels, left the phone off the hook and pray that nobody shows up at the door, because as bad as the game plays it's impossible to pause too.

I could keep going on about how painful this game is and I could keep listing off it's issues, but I think you get the picture that this is a hideous game with crap graphics, sound, story and gameplay. However I will sign off by saying that it can't even get the options screen right. Yes even the options screen is bad by being bland, ugly and it explains nothing about the options that you are changing. As an example it took me a long time to work out that hacker limit wasn't even a limit, the the sole way to turn off the intrusion feature and prevent other people from joining your game. Why not just open game? ON or OFF? Why use “Limit” which suggests a maximum number of players?

The game can't even get the first few seconds right.

Overall I paid only £5 for this crap pile and I feel like I've been overcharged by somewhere in the region of £30. Worst game of the year.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good.

It probally sounded like a good idea on paper during the first design meeting.

The Bad.

Not even enough to qualify as even being BAD.

The Ugly.

Almost everything this game has to offer.


0.1 raped wallets out of 5

Orcs Must DLC!!
Well I picked up Orcs Must Die today. The awesome interactive trailer was a big help, of course there's a demo too. I love this sort of game, this is more actiony than 'tower defense' though. You don't even really need to use towers, if you wanna just pump up your weapons and spells. Most of all I picked it up because it costs $15.

All day before buying it I was asking myself, "Why does Orcs Must Die cost $15?" Why not $20, or $30, or $40? Well, I've been playing the game all night and I haven't finished the campaign even on normal mode. If I buy a game for $15 I don't expect it to have that kind of endurance!

Well, I had already been guessing before I bought it, but I think this game is an experiment in DLC. You buy it for cheap, it's a great game, you want more, right? So they provide more, for a price. I don't expect I've bought the whole game yet, though what I've got is pretty darned good! Most of all this idea is reinforced by the big BUY SOME DLC!! button in the middle of the main menu. Actually this would work great; it cleanly opens up the steam overlay's browser and guides you to the DLC page for the game so you can buy it right then and there. Much more convenient than other pay-as-you-go systems I've had to deal with. The thing is, there isn't any DLC for this game yet! The way it's set up, you'd think they'd release it with a bunch of DLC options and stuff. Probably later they'll sell the pre-order bonus costume, and I've seen video of a Cardboard Tube Samurai outfit. But for now there's no DLC.

So, how is the game? I've been enjoying it quite a bit! You play as a War Mage; you were an apprentice to a wizard but during battle he fell on some stairs and cracked his skull open. Now you're in charge of defending a collection of 'rifts' hidden inside fortresses. The rifts are portals to your home world; you're on the orc world and they're trying to invade. Your primary weapon is an enchanted rapid-fire crossbow. You also get a bladestaff, though only the crossbow is mandatory. You get to pick from a selection of weapons, traps, and minions. Then you spend points to place the traps and minions. Unlike a regular tower defense game, the monsters are violent. They'll attack you and your minions. They can't harm your traps, though they can harm your barricades if you're standing on top of them, or if they can't pathfind around. The only thing is they seem to hate stairs; there are some levels with side corridors that the monsters just won't go through unless you fling them up there with a physics trap.

The levels are very nice, very attractive, varied, and there are a hell of a lot of them. I haven't counted, or looked it up, but I've played through at least a dozen tonight. Probably more. The game uses physics creatively, so there's a lot of interesting strategic opportunities that come from the terrain. You can fling monsters into pits of acid or lava, or off a bridge so they end up back at the start of the maze. There are also levels with static traps like boiling acid or oil pots you can shoot and have them spill. You can knock down chandeliers on enemies, and there was even one level so far with rolling log traps set up at the top of staircases, and a ballista at the very top for shooting down ogres.

If there's any problem with the game I'd say it's the main character. He's a cartoon of a douchebag, completely full of himself to the point of being ridiculous. Sort of a clown, really. At the end of each level he does a sort of touchdown dance. I don't know why they decided to make the main character like that. I sort of hope that one of the inevitable DLCs gives you the option of a different protagonist. Certainly the orcs ask to be the good guy now and again.

The orcs and other monsters are fantastic. Each type of monster has multiple models with different gear and such, so when they're coming at you it's not like a wall of clones. Well, now that I think of it, maybe it's just the orcs. I'm having a hard time thinking of multiple Kobold, Ogre or Gnoll bodies, and the little devil fliers are all identical. Oh well. At least the orcs are different! The orcs and other monsters also chatter on as they work their way through, it gives them a lot of character, and then you kill them.

Anyways the game is a ton of fun. I reccomend it for anybody who likes to enjoy things.

Review: Gears of War 3
Gears of War 3 – 360

Despite the massive hype for this third instalment of the series of Xbox 360 exclusives I find myself a bit on edge with delivering a review that is well a bit mixed to say the least.

There is no denying that the series is a little in what I call “McDonalds cheeseburger” territory, in that on name alone it was destined to sell over a million copys on launch day pretty much before we had even seen the first screen shot of the game. Hell Epic could have sat on their collective asses for two years picking their noses, and at the last second just squeezed turds into the DVD boxes, and people would still fork out £40 a pop for it.

But give them their due they still have in reality pumped out a good game that mostly, and I say “mostly”, hits all the right notes, even if it's very un-evolved now.

Gameplay wise little has changed since GoW 2, with the exception of storyline Co-Op which now supports up to four players from 2. There are only something like 4 new weapons to play with but I will say that only the new vulcan minigun feels like it's anything interesting with the need for two people to operate it (thus forcing a fair amount of teamwork). Other guns either show up too infrequently or have too little ammo to be of any real use after a few shots. Friendly AI over GoW 2 is the major improvement. While they still do some stupid things like bunch up they will come over and stick a healing boot up your ass when you fall, rather than ignore you even when you are lying right next to them (my big issue with GoW2). Although I could say that maybe just maybe the improved AI did make the game at times a bit too easy, as I only really died to weaponry that caused insta-kill effects during the course of the campaign.

The enemys aren't much of a step up from GoW2, all most all the locust are the same and the new Lambert enemys are pretty much the same as the locust, or heaving abominations with big glowing “fuck me” light weak spots. Oh and zombies, glowing zombies, but fuck zombies I am so bored of them at this point.

Of course now being a deeply rooted series it's hard to expect massive changes in gameplay or graphics, so we have to talk about the story to set it apart from the previous games and to see if it is a step up or indeed a step down.

And sadly IMHO it's a step down, a big step down from GoW 2 in fact. While GoW 2 was actually quite intriguing and had quite a lot of twists and turns at times, GoW 3 is a fairly straight journey from point A to point B. Yes there are many scrapes along the way, but there isn't as many interesting twists or turns during it that GoW 2 had, and sometimes things just feel a bit moot.

It's not that there are some good characters, and some well written and though out scenes, it just doesn’t pull the same punch like the last game did, and considering that this was meant to have been the send off for the series this is a bad thing.

Also, and while I am breaking my own rules on the subject of spoilers, I can't but help mention the games ending in this review. I won't say what happens, but it is so very bittersweet that to be fair it almost left a sour taste in my mouth. I know that not every story should end on a happy note, but if you've had a trilogy this epic and high profile you do want something maybe a bit more upbeat. Maybe also something that hid the (to quote the trope) fridge logic/horror a bit better.

But I won't rag too much on the game, it's still good fun, and it's production values still shine through even if this finale is slightly more of a fizzle than the tour-de-force that it should have been.

The good the bad and the ugly.

The good.

- The gameplay from Gears of war 2 is relatively untouched.

- Good music in game.

- Vastly improved friendly AI

- Some good set pieces and scenes.

- Good use of the Unreal engine on the now ageing Xbox hardware.

The Bad.

- The vastly improved friendly AI now makes the game a bit too easy.

- New weaponry doesn't make much of an impact.

- Most of the new enemies feel like a let down.

- Somewhat dull and unmemorable plot for the final chapter.

The ugly

- F**king uninspired Zombies, and their f**king uninspired appearance.

- VERY bittersweet ending.


3 3/4 packets of tasty 15 year old unopened "BACON" out of 5.

Xbox oddness (X-Post)
OK so as of last Tuesday I managed to get my account back after it was hacked, and suspended by Microsoft as part of the fraud investigation. Both they, and I know the the account was hacked into and my credit card used fraudulently (about £78+ was spent on MS points and game purchases).

Oh it's been inconvenience alright, I've had to cancel my credit card, and I've had to change passwords whenever I log into any account now online as a extra precaution. It's also been a lot of extra stress and worry that I would rather not deal with. I also wish that it had ended with the moment that Live came back, if anything it's still the cause from concern even without the hacking.

For a start I still had 480 points in my account that I didn't purchase, these showed up. I had no idea if I could spend these or not, or what I could do with them. I assumed that they where still mine even though I hadn't purchased them.

MS though corrected the account though as they are entitled to do, however they did so this weekend, 3 or 4 days after my account became active again. It would have been nice to have had these removed BEFORE my account became active again rather than after. It would have also been nice to have been told about the mistake too rather than just a cold clinical removal without warning.

Also there is the issue with the stuff that the guy purchased before my account was made inactive with the ill gotten points or purchases that were made with my credit card. Most are still as of now still being shown as legit downloads, or as purchased (even though I never personally purchased them). Apparently the total waste of 7000 of MS points went on....

CoD Black Ops: Escalation MAP PACK.

CoD Black Ops: First strike MAP PACK.

XBLA game: From Dust

Movie: Watchmen HD (why would I download that when I have the extended cut edition on Blu-ray?)

GAME: Sniper Ghost Warrior

GAME: CoD Black Ops (again why would I download that when I've got the retail edition already?)

Now here is the clincher. Can I download these games since they are still showing on my account as "purchased"? Sure it would be nice to have some free content as compensation (though a chunk of it is utterly pointless), but then the questions arise. If I attempt to download them would I suddenly be charged? Would MS say "Hey you where lying! You made those purchases! Then bill my arse for the sales? Or would nothing happen? Those downloads are now mine whatever, hackers loss, my gain.

MS haven't said shit all to me about this either, and I would rather know before I do ANYTHING.

Now the thing is the phone service that I have had from Microsoft has been top notch (though they claimed to have suspended the account instantly, and I know that in reality it wasn't for at least 24 hours post hack), keeping me calm and dealing with the situation promptly, and I can't fault the speed of the resolution (20 days in total, 1 day less than the maximum time it would take to sort this, and that being 21 days). However online has been poor, late emails, and a lack of explanation as to what exactly has been going on hasn't really helped. More so now that I am at this point, and that I've been left hanging with these.

I've tried looking online for an answer and nobody has brought it up. This leads me to conclude that there has been a mistake, or people are just plain dishonest.

I'll ring MS XBox support tonight to clear light on the issue of these games, but in many ways stay or go their presence leaves a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.

Oh and one final thing on this matter, XBox Live, no not just XBox live, the security for MS services is clearly shit. I am sorry but it is. Yes we mocked SONY this year over the major network Hack, but at the end of the day it was a one off Major event that is very much likely never to happen again.

Account hijacking on XBox live has been going on since 2006 or 2007, the earliest days in the consoles life, and at first MS even refused to admit that it was happening, now even though it knows it goes on has failed utterly to beef up security as a response.

It's still too easy to jack a gamertag, and one user name and password is all that stands between a hacker and your credit card details with MS. This is a poor show when Steam, Apple and even minnows have at least two layers of security when it comes to credit card access (either a second password or reinsertion of some credit card details before purchases are made).

Either way I am not going to be punching my credit card details into any of live services again (in store card purchases only) until Microsoft takes customer account security seriously.

Gamefest report
Wow there was a lot there at the show on friday, a lot to talk about and sadly a lot that I didn't see due to some crazy and I mean crazy cuing for some exhibits (MW3 at one point during the day was said to be at the 3 hour mark, and I wish that I was kidding about that. Next year if GAME do this again (and they will) I will be booking a room at a local hotel and staying over night just so I don't feel so bad about waiting in the cues for the more hyped up games X)

However cues aside there where still quite a few games that I did manage to get a hands on with or got to see presentations for, along with a few bits of hardware.

Anyway here goes, the games that I got to play or saw presentations of.

My opinions on the previews of Tom clancys Ghost warrior Future solider, Assassins creed Revelations, Batman Arkham city, Ace combat Assault horizon, and much moreCollapse )

Best Video Game Swag Ever
Someone on Reddit just posted that their little sister bought Ni no Kuni, the beautiful Studio Ghibli video game.

Apparently it came with this.

Just look at that thing! That's fricking BEAUTIFUL! They're mass producing these and packing them with every copy of the game. Even the films didn't come with this kind of swag, or if they did I've seriously been missing out!


This Revolution should be televised... and DVR'ed... and replayed
DragonRift 1
Here's a shocker. I've never played a Deus Ex game. Ever.

Yeah, a groundbreaking classic.... I knew of its existence back when it came out, but my PC lacked the power to handle it, and working at Blockbuster (and only Blockbuster) made me a bit too poor to afford the higher-end stuff all the time.

So yeah, I missed out on one of the most celebrated and innovative PC games for its time. So why did I leap into this prequel? Well, knowing that it takes place BEFORE the first two games, I wasn't concerned about feeling lost. I read a lot of preview articles and watched plenty of demos, I was pretty much sold from the get-go. I nabbed the Augmented Edition. :D

So do I think the hype was worth it?

Pros: Amazingly detailed visuals and fantastic settings; The orchestrated score and vocals make the soundtrack purely mesmerizing; Compelling story that keeps you glued to the very end; Loads of variety, allowing you to choose how you wish to play the game; The adventure is lengthy and offers plenty of intriguing elements to encourage replay

Cons: Some augments, when maxed-out, make the game a bit too simple, even at the hardest settings; Boss fights don't reward players who choose to be stealthy; Derpy AI

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Overall Grade: A-
Highly recommended for fans and newcomers alike

Without a doubt Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a clear "Game of the Year" contender. It was a bit easier than I had expected, but the story and overall experience made up for every bit of that.

Eidos Montreal really put together something special, and they spared no effort in giving fans what they wanted, while also introducing newcomers to an amazing world. I really need to give the first two games a shot now. This is a game that anyone looking for an exciting story should play. :)

--- x-posted to my own journal ---


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