Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Special - Bioshock Infinite - 25/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]

WEDNESDAY 25TH APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE


Today's DAILY DOSE is a special preview of -
BIOSHOCK INFINITE.

For those of you who may have missed them, the Bioshock series has been a real game-changer in the games industry. The first game had one of the most realised worlds, characters and stories of most fiction - never mind gaming fiction!

The story took place in Rapture - a city under the sea - where the inhabitants had foregone ideas of morality and restraint in their scientific and technological progress and advanced far too quickly. Within a few years, humans had augmented their minds and bodies with chemical cocktails known as plasmids - and led to society tearing itself apart.

It was a masterpiece in gaming - truly incredible.

I even liked the second one - which retained the setting but moved the story on a few years. Rather than uber-capitalism run rife, you had a communist dictatorship which offered another (albeit much less awesome) chapter in Rapture's dark history.

Now comes some video previews for the next game in the series, Infinite, which takes the player into the skies - on a floating city called Columbia.

FULL 15 MINUTE GAMEPLAY TRAILER


It's all very well explained in the videos - the 15 minute gameplay video above shows off one of the games introductory scenes, while the videos that follow give some details on the factions, environments and enemies of Columbia.

The team is clearly talented - the environments and enemies look stunning and are well thought-out - but it's the skylines that have me interested. 

Does anyone else get a little rush of excitement just watching those things in action? 

I'm going to be foaming at the mouth on the approach to release day (sometime in late 2012) in anticipation of flinging myself through a floating frikkin' city on a skyrail  frikkin' rollercoaster. Oh yeah...

WORLD AND ENEMIES

FACTIONS AT WAR


TEARS INTO OTHER WORLDS


ABOUT SKYLINES

HEAVY HITTERS 1 - MOTORIZED PATRIOT

HEAVY HITTERS 2 - HANDYMAN

HEAVY HITTERS 3 - BOYS OF SILENCE

HEAVY HITTERS 4 - SIRENS

As a final note - although people may not have read this far down - I am going on holiday!

So, sadly, there will be no DAILY DOSES or ECLECTIC REVIEWS for the rest of this week... *sobs*

However - I'll be back with
A MASSIVE SPECIAL EXTRAVAGANZA
on THURSDAY 3RD MAY!

It's going to be big - 
a very special DAILY DOSE, 
a hot CD review, 
2 new GAMES reviews 
AND a FILM review too! 
(I really spoil you guys).

PLUS - a special announcement about an upcoming ECLECTIC EVENT!

Big things are happening in May - come back soon to see what's happening!

So.... see you all in a week!

Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!

Any images are copyright of their respective owners and are from: http://www.bioshockinfinite.com/downloads

Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: http://www.youtube.com/user/IGNentertainment

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Video - Fredde Gredde - 24/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]


TUESDAY 24TH APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE



Today's DAILY DOSE is a spotlight on some of the medleys created by -
FREDDE GREDDE.

This Swedish musician has mashed-up most of the greatest modern popular songs, games, TV and cartoon themes to make these epic long vids.


A truly amazing and very talented guy - well done to him.


The video games one is brilliant - the only problem being that it skips to a different game so quick and I wanna hear each one for longer!


Thanks to @Miss_Kay_87 for the heads up on this one (and it was indeed totally nergasmic).

Then just because they are also frikkin' awesome - take a look at these two vids as well.

VIDEO GAME THEMES WITH LYRICS



TV THEME MEDLEY


Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!


Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: http://www.youtube.com/user/Freddie25

Monday, 23 April 2012

Trailer - Dark Shadows - 23/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]


MONDAY 23RD APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE


Today's DAILY DOSE is a look at the upcoming film -
DARK SHADOWS.

Now when I heard about this film I really only took in 3 pieces of information:

  1. Tim Burton is directing it... and so it's a Gothic Comedy.
  2. Therefore we'll have Helena Bonham-Carter (obvs)
  3. and Johnny Depp in the lead playing a weirdo (who else?).



But then I took a look at the trailer. Go on - watch it now.


Actually, it made me chuckle quite a bit. 


A vampire in 1972? 
Chloe Moretz as a scathing teenager?
Eva Green as an evil witch?


Awesome sauce.


So, as textbook as all the elements seem, I will probably go and see this film and laugh the whole way through. 


This funkadelic vampire flick hits cinemas on May 11th 2012.

Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!


Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: http://www.youtube.com/user/warnerbrosuktrailers

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Video - Frogger 5th Avenue - 22/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]


SUNDAY 22ND APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE



Today's DAILY DOSE is a little look at this -
FROGGER 5TH AVENUE.

The video explains in full what the guy did -
basically using a webcam to track the traffic on 5th Avenue in real-time and feed this into the game -
and the result looks absolutely amazing.


There is now some talk of it being put onto a website to play at any time, plus the guy is trying to get this into the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Art of the Video Game Exhibit - which I think this deserves.


If you like what you see then go ahead and recommend the game at the Smithsonian's Facebook page: 
http://www.facebook.com/americanart


And the blog for the Frogger project, showing the development as it progressed, can be found here:

Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!


Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: http://www.youtube.com/user/IGNentertainment

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Video - Weebls-Stuff Funnies - Volume 2 - 21/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]

SATURDAY 21ST APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE

Today's DAILY DOSE is the second of the posts dedicated to the weirdness of -
WEEBLS-STUFF.


--- WARNING (AGAIN) ---
--- THESE VIDEOS ARE BLOODY WEIRD ---

Here we have a few of Weebls' early songs - proving that they could put a horrendously catchy tune with surreal lyrics to form the soundtrack to several of my early years. That would explain it....


BADGERS

PATRICK MOORE

SCAMPI
http://www.weebls-stuff.com/songs/scampi/


KENYA

STRAWBERRY PANCAKE


And then... not strictly a song but felt that it fitted in around here - the incredible -



NOT ON MY WATCH - YOU SON OF A CHURCH!

Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!
Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons

Friday, 20 April 2012

DS Downloadable Games vol. 4 [DS REVIEW] [QUICK&SHORT]




What's It All About Then?
A cartoony, piratey tower defense game with a twist - you must defend against enemy pirate ships who want to steal your treasure!

+++ PROS +++

  • Cheap - £1.80 on the DSi Store.
  • Fairly bright and pretty - the graphics do well enough to show the action.
  • Novel gameplay - the defense/offense tactics required take a little time to get used to but allow for fun, frantic gameplay.
  • Nicely styled - the theme is very piratey and the weapons, music and graphics all complement this.

--- CONS ---

  • Slightly poor tutorial - there's a few slides with very small text explaining what you need to do, but this is pretty hard to read.
  • Slightly difficult to plan for attacks - ensuring you keep all your treasure and fight off baddies can be awkward - and takes seeing the route that the ships take a few times before you can effectively fight them off.
  • Lags terribly when the screen is full - serious slowdown issues here.
  • Very short - only 5 levels that will keep you going for a couple of hours at most.


What's It All About Then?
New and shiny poker and blackjack sim, with a whole bunch of game modes and really encourages you to get involved in the game.

+++ PROS +++

  • Great variety of game modes - about 10 poker variations, plus blackjack.
  • Lots of tournaments to try your hand at - from easy to hard - and then there's multiplayer.
  • The graphics of the player avatars and environments look pretty good
  • Having a customisable player profile allows you to feel engaged and keeps track of your progress well.
  • Loads of achievements to aim for too (win with a straight, all-in before the river etc.) so there's some extra replay value.

--- CONS ---

  • Not too cheap - £4.50 on DSi Store.
  • Poor difficulty balance - the first 5 tournaments are all "super easy" and the final few are "super hard" - meant that I ended up playing the lower-level games for a bit of fun.


What's It All About Then?
Point-and-click puzzle game where you must use subtle hints to progress through the many levels.

+++ PROS +++

  • Cheap - £1.80 on the DSi Store.
  • Around 30 levels that take a fair bit of time to get through.
  • Ranging from fun little slides which take a few seconds to work out, right through to head-scratchers that require a bit more thought.

--- CONS ---

  • Doubt that you'll want to play through this more than once - when you have finished the puzzles there is virtually no replay value.
  • Some levels are just a pain in the arse. Not requiring any logic or cunning, a few puzzles need you to simply "click in the right order" and really can only be found through trial-and-error.
  • The game keeps track of your clicks - so tapping frantically to work out an obnoxious puzzle will add to your counter (and probably raise your blood pressure too).


What's It All About Then?
Brick breaker game where you guide a ball bouncing around 1001 levels of destructible scenery.

+++ PROS +++

  • Cheap - £1.80 on the DSi Store.
  • There really is 1001 levels.
  • Power-ups and bonuses keep things varied for a while.
  • 3D graphics on the DS look pretty good - not spectacular but definitely nice to watch smashing around the place.
--- CONS ---

  • All the levels are pretty samey - the game has 4 themes (forest, candy, Greek and stone age) which determine the objects you'll smash - but you'll always smash the same few objects.
  • Slightly overwhelming! Having 1001 repetitive levels is a bit intimidating - it didn't make me want to get through all of them.
  • If you like bouncing balls to smash things - you'll be in Heaven. If you prefer something more fun - this may get boring quickly.


Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!

Any images in this review are subject to relevant copyrights and are kindly provided by: 
http://www.nintendo.co.uk/NOE/en_GB/games/dsiware/pirates_assault_49336.html
http://www.nintendo.co.uk/NOE/en_GB/games/dsiware/1st_class_poker__blackjack_49093.html
http://www.nintendo.co.uk/NOE/en_GB/games/dsiware/hints_hunter_49170.html

Pictures - Crysis 3 - 20/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]

FRIDAY 20th APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE


Today's DAILY DOSE is a look at some early photos for the upcoming uber-gorgeous sci-fi shooter -
CRYSIS 3.


This time round you're some sort of elite mecha-ninja-hunter.... awesome.


Developers Crytek have just released a few details and pictures about their upcoming title - the big reveal being that this time you're fighting through a New York City that's become overgrown so much that it now resembles a jungle.


Crytek say that Crysis 3 will feature 7 distinct environments (known as the Seven Wonders) which exists within an evil corporation's "Nano-Dome".


To make your way through these 7 districts, Prophet (the series' protagonist) must make use of new weaponry - like the incredible bow shown in the picture above!


Of course, you still march round in you nano-suit with guns... if you'd prefer...


The environments look amazing - ruined buildings and plant life entwined.


UPDATE - FIRST TRAILER RELEASED!
And they've also just posted a very small snippet of a trailer - full gameplay trailer due out on 24th April!






And to round things off, Crytek have just released a demo video for the latest game engine build - CryENGINE3.


This shows off some of the technical developments they have made - and what we can expect to see coming up in their new game. 


Crysis 3 won't be in shops until 2013 - so there's a bit of a wait before we get to engage our "Maximum Armour" once more.



Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!
Any images in this review are subject to relevant copyrights and are kindly provided by: 
http://kotaku.com/5902261/crysis-3-transforms-new-york-city-in-2013/gallery/1
Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: 
http://www.youtube.com/user/IGNentertainment
http://www.youtube.com/user/Crysis

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light [CD REVIEW]

THE LATEST ALBUM FROM THE FOOS
HAS SEVERAL CRACKING TRACKS - 
BUT IS LET DOWN BY TRULY TEDIOUS LYRICS AND A RELIANCE ON THE "STADIUM SOUND"



What's It All About Then?
This album by the Foo Fighters, released in April 2011 (yes, I'm only a year late) was one of the Foos most commercially successful - with the singles Walk (above) and Rope (below) debuting at the top of the charts. 


The album has since given the Foos 4 Grammy Awards, including "Best Rock Album", several nominations for "Album of The Year", and indeed was named "Best Album of 2011" by iTunes.


The album is described by frontman, Dave Grohl, as a hark back to their earlier works - being much more brash and raw than recent albums. To complement this sound, the band decided to record the album using analogue equipment - no fancy digital mixers and software - so that this youthful, fierce energy could really come through. As such, the band members and recording technicians had to relearn old techniques for capturing tracks in this way - and had to spend several weeks rehearsing to ensure the recordings sounded how they had hoped.



So Is It Any Good?
+++ Kick-Ass Vibrancy +++
The majority of the album is filled with the big, rocky numbers we have come to expect from the Foo Fighters - plenty of distorted riffs cutting through Grohl's gruff singing with pacey percussion to back it up.

The album is definitely more rock than some previous Foo albums have been - there was a period about 5 years ago when it seemed they had given up and decided to stick to pop tracks - but these are tracks are much more high-intensity and "in-your-face". A welcome change.

The album manages to have a good pace to it as well - a few big numbers to start, then a couple of slightly down-tempo middle tracks before raising the volume and the tempo again at the album's close.

Particular credit goes to the album's singles - Walk, Rope and These Days (below) - for being suitably heavy rather than "watering-down" their sound too much for radio release. They aren't the best Foo tracks you've heard - but you won't complain too much when you get them stuck in your head.

+++ Instru-mentality +++
The music throughout is top notch - clever riffs and well-chosen percussion to keep the energy pounding out of the speakers throughout.


The guitar and drums really do a good job keeping the album feeling fresh - while there's nothing here that you haven't heard before they are still some of the catchiest you'll hear on the radio at the moment.

When combined with the recording choice - to forego digital helpers to lay the tracks down - then this is quite an achievement. When played through some big speakers the experience is quite something - big, bone-shaking, head-throbbing belters.

It's good to see that the guys have not given up on creating kick-ass rock music - something that I thought was coming during that Long Road To Ruin-phase... and let us never speak of it again.



--- Fairytale Cliche ---
Sadly, while the band's hope of creating an album which sounds like their very early works - they seem to have decided to thrown in "schoolboy" lyrics to pad the songs out.


Aside from the singles - which are excused only slightly because they are clearly written to be performed in front of 10,000-strong audiences who have difficulty remembering more than 4 words per chorus - the rest of the lyrics are mind-numbingly awful. 


Literally every other track has a cliche to start, a cliche for a chorus and some extra cliches thrown in for good measure during the verses. Below, I have chosen 3 songs AT RANDOM and posted a couple of lines below. You can do this with any song - it's like there isn't a scrap of originality in the majority of the lyrics.



These are my famous last words
My number's up - bridges all burned.

Once upon a time I was somebody else
In another life I saw myself
Way back then, back when I was new.


You're one to talk -  the heart is a clock
Just like a bomb it keeps on ticking away
Counting down to detonate.



I mean, COME ON?!?

Even back in the very early days, the Foos didn't write tripe like this! I understand that this is a reflective album, with the theme looking over their childhoods, lives and forward to the future - but that should allow for some creative references.

In one track, Arlandria (below), Grohl is clearly harking back to his childhood with nursery rhyme-style wordplays - but this sliver of creative flair is buried beneath the rest of the lazy and badly-executed lyrics.

I'm not saying that any of the tracks are too awful to listen to - in fact the whole album is great for a playthrough - but it's never going to be one of my favourite rock albums, nor my favourite Foos album for this reason alone.

As mentioned above, I think the band were trying to balance "kick-ass rock" with "stadium/festival appeal" and ended up with brilliant music but limp, cliched lyrics. Such a shame...


Conclusions
THE ALBUM IS GOOD -
EACH TRACK IS WORTH A LISTEN AND THE SINGLES HAVE BEEN IN MY HEAD FOR WEEKS NOW.

SADLY, WASTING LIGHT IS NEVER GOING TO BE MORE THAN A QUICK LISTEN FOR ME BECAUSE THE BLAND, TIRED LYRICS ARE MUCH TOO UNAPPEALING.

I WOULD BE GLAD TO HEAR THESE TRACKS AT A FESTIVAL - AS I THINK THE BAND INTENDED - BUT THE CD WILL NOW GO BACK ON MY SHELF... AND STAY THERE.



Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!
Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: http://www.youtube.com/user/foofightersVEVO
http://www.youtube.com/user/linkinpuunk

Video - Top Game Themes Vol. 1 - 19/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]


THURSDAY 19th APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE



Today's DAILY DOSE is the first part of my look at -
THE BEST RETRO VIDEO GAME THEMES EVER.




I'd imagine there's literally thousands of tracks that defined your gaming childhoods - and these 5 are the ones that stood out to me.


This selection of 5 top tunes is from the early NINTENDO consoles (NES, SNES and Game Boy).


I'll do one for SEGA, SONY and other later themes in the coming weeks.


So... here's the top 5!




5 - Dragon Quest



4 - Super Mario




3 - Pokemon Theme (Red/Blue)


2 - The Legend of Zelda



And the winner is.....


1 - TETRIS!



Do you agree with the list?
Disagree with some of the themes?
Disagree with the order?


Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!
Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: 
http://www.youtube.com/user/ultddave
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheZeldaDungeon
http://www.youtube.com/user/Bwgsoccer13
http://www.youtube.com/user/IIIIlllll
http://www.youtube.com/user/PeyserConley

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Trailer - Dishonored - 18/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]

WEDNESDAY 18th APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE


Today's DAILY DOSE is a trailer for the new Bethesda Softworks title -
DISHONORED.

Have you had a watch of the trailer?
Are you excited yet?
If not - what precisely is wrong with you?

This is the latest title from epic RPG merchants Bethesda - and they're doing steampunk. 


Epic assassin stalking, gadgets and weaponry a-plenty as you explore this awesome dark environment. No specific features have been announced yet, save for dropping plenty of hints about stealth gameplay and the overarching story uncovering details about "The Outsider", who is the cause of magic within the world.


They've certainly got the talent to pull this off. Created by the studio that brought us the incredible "Dark Messiah of Might and Magic", with one of the guys behind "Deus Ex" and "Thief - Deadly Shadows" on the case - coupled with Bethesda's track record for making engrossing and awesome games - this is definitely on my watch list.



Finally, as that is the American spelling, I wonder if the UK version will get an extra "u"? 
Anyway, for the time being that's what it's called.



The game is due out at some point in 2012 - and if you can't wait that long then here's a few more pics.








Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!
Any images in this review are subject to relevant copyrights and are kindly provided by: 
http://www.dishonored.com/
Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: http://www.youtube.com/user/machinima

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Video - Weebls-Stuff Funnies - Volume 1 - 17/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]

TUESDAY 17th APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE

Today's DAILY DOSE is the first of a few posts highlighting some of the awesome stuff created by the incredible internet vid geniuses -
WEEBLS-STUFF.


--- WARNING ---
--- THESE VIDEOS ARE BLOODY WEIRD ---

Just to get the ball rolling, I've got their 2 latest videos below (both released in April 2012) so they're still going strong with internet funnies even today.


BRAND NEW VID - FRANCOIS RABELAIS


BRAND NEW VID - BRANCHES

Then comes a few links to some of the bizarre, catchy and incredible work that they put out onto the internet as far back as 2002!


I can't really explain why... I don't have any reasons....


I just like crude and stupid humour, and catchy tunes....


Will you judge me for that?
Yes, you probably will.
Meh.



THE DRUG LORD TRILOGY



MR. STABBY (WARNING - WEIRD).



Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!
Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by: http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons
http://www.youtube.com/user/mrweebl

Monday, 16 April 2012

Trailer - Lost Planet 3 "Captivate" - 16/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]

MONDAY 16TH APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE


Today's DAILY DOSE is the trailer for the new sci-fi shooter - LOST PLANET 3.

The first 2 Lost Planet titles were good games at points - they stood out from the rest of the generic shooters by being the most OTT, epic, giant-alien blasters that you have ever player. Better than that, the second had 4-player co-op that kicked ass.


Sadly there were serious problems with both, particularly Lost Planet 2's difficulty level if you had no human players in your squad, and the confusing and harsh boss battles later in the game.


The series has been taken over by a new studio (because the first two titles were a financial failure) so are now being headed up by Spark Entertainment, the peeps that brought us Legendary and Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. These games had issues of their own (I have heard) however I've only played demos and I can say that they certainly could pull of tense setpieces - something perfectly fitting with the Lost Planet atmosphere.


So this game could be the "third time lucky" and offer: 
a compelling and epic single story that keeps you on the edge of your seat for at least 15 hours 
AND
 an aweome multi-player experience in the genre of - 
"take giant mech, smash uber-giant alien into squishy bits.... with mates".


If they can pull it off - I'm telling you - this could be the ultimate co-op gaming night game. 
I really hope they do a good mecha multiplayer.....


Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!
Any videos in this review are from Youtube and are subject to relevant copyrights. They are kindly provided by:  http://www.youtube.com/user/LostPlanetOfficial

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Rumour - Steam Box - 15/04/12 [DAILY DOSE]

SUNDAY 15TH APRIL 2012 - DAILY DOSE

OK - why on Earth they've made the Steam Box all Borg-y is beyond me.

Today's DAILY DOSE is a look at some of the rumours floating around about a new "Steam Box" console - a console designed by Valve to stream games - and even a pair of glasses to merge computer-generated graphics into the real world.

The rumours have been confirmed and denied equally - with several top Valve employees making it clear that they are researching something along these lines while at the same time other execs are denying we'll see anything come of these rumours for the next couple of years.

One thing seems clear - they are working on something.

Last week a job vacancy was posted for an Electronics Engineer - the job blurb is here:

For years, Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences. Now we’re developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen. Join our highly motivated team that’s doing hardware design, prototyping, testing, and production across a wide range of platforms. We’re not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here – help us invent whole new gaming experiences.

The vacancy requires the applicants to have prototyping experience, knowledge of ARM/X86 system design, knowledge of board layout and hardware definition languages.

Valve have always created top-quality stuff and games that have defined a generation - now can they take that one step further and create a new gaming platform to change the gaming landscape?

It seems we may have to wait a couple of years to find out - but I'm looking forward to the results.


What does everyone else think?
Is a new Valve console on the way?
Will it be any good?
Comments in the box below.

Some links to the job vacancy itself and some sources that are looking closely at these rumours are posted below:


Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!
Any images in this review are subject to relevant copyrights and are kindly provided by: http://www.facebook.com/ign
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