Posts tagged ‘Review’

City of Secrets (HD for iPad)

City of Secrets (and HD) is an iPhone and iPad classical point and click adventure game presented with beautiful hand drawn art, layered 2D backgrounds and a 3D character cast, fully spoken throughout.

City of Secrets HD

The main characters you control are Rex (a little dog) and Mr Moles. Originally cartoon characters in Polish media, they have been in existence for nearly 100 years, so there’s a big back-story there for those keen enough to research it!

Various other games with the characters have been launhed on various platforms, selling over a million copies in Eastern Europe, but this is their first appearance on the iOS platform!

It’s a charming game, with a personality all of it’s own. The balance between intricacy of puzzles and accessibility is pitched about right, with the puzzles giving up a good challenge, but never getting too frustrating.

There are several methods to point players in the right direction such as a notebook containing a list of completed and ‘to-do’ tasks – and a hint system giving a written clue for the next most important task if you really get stuck!

City of Secrets HDFor more seasoned players there are numerous more subtle clues in the voice-overs and art itself, but it’s easy to miss the relevance of the spoken clues the first time around, and there’s no way to go back and read any spoken dialogue, so you will have to have your best detective head on and pay attention to really grasp it all! A notepad would be handy because it’s pretty obvious when a clue is told, but hard to remember it when it comes to the realisation of how to use it!

Most puzzles involve searching for items, sometimes combining them in the inventory, exploring the scenes and talking to the inhabitants, then using the right items to progress the plot.

The animated story is split into 5 chapters, and follows the adventures of Mr Moles, trying to save Poco Pane (the moles underground world) from being taken over by the sneaky rats!
City of Secrets HDChapters are introduced by a narrator, commenting on the action and giving context to the next scene. In some chapters control is passed to Rex the dog which gives a nice change of pace and feeds off the relationship between the main characters. In ways, it reminded me a lot of Wallace & Gromit or Sam & Max in the way the characters work together in the story, and has a lot of the quirky charm of those games, although the puzzles are more object and action led rather than talking to the right people with the correct responses so City of Secrets still has it’s own feel, with the much better option of smooth and attractive backdrops rather than slightly under-resolution 3D!

The game is crafted to work very well with touch controls, although there is usually only one context for each interaction which simplifies it, rather than in Lucasarts games where you can choose between actions for an object.

The whole game is very atmospheric and highly polished, with the artwork pulling it all together.

City of Secrets HDI understand there are going to be other episodes of the series, but there is an entire cohesive story arc contained within City of Secrets.

The stability of the game is also to be commended – never even thought about crashing. It’s also got a rock-solid load/save system, as well as automatic quick saves each time something significant happens so you won’t ever lose any progress.

I love adventure games on iPad – in my opinion they are the perfect genre for the device… It’s such a chilled way of playing that it feels like an interactive book with a life of its own! You can just pick it up and carry on with your story at your pace, in a very tactile way.

You can see the full details on their website:
Or download the official Press Release here: Aidem Press Release – City Of Secrets

Real Racing HD vs Need for Speed Shift

A comparison between the 2 main iPad racing games at launch has left me a little surprised. I only recently bought NFS Shift to see what it was like, seeing as it was getting lots of 5 star reviews, and must say I’m impressed by it!

They are both fundamentally ports of their iPhone compatriarts enhanced for the bigger screen and more processing power.

Both are excellent games in their own way so there’s definitely room for both in your collection depending on what you’re looking for.

Read on for a full and detailed comparison between Real Racing by Firemint and Need For Speed Shift by EA.

The presentation, menus & interface

Real Racing’s menus are a lot more attractive in most ways. They use the screen space better and the text is much neater with a much more ‘tech’ design to them. NFS is pure arcade console style menus but still easy to navigate, although there are a lot more steps to get to the action.

Both games have similar control options and view options. You can have driver asssists such as steering help, braking help, auto braking, auto accelerate and automatic gearbox – or turn any of those off for a more hardcore experience. Personally I drive with auto gearbox on but everything else off so that you can lift off the throttle without necessarily braking to help get around certain bends as smoothly as possible and losing minimal momentum.

You can drive the cars with external chase cams, bonnet cam or an in-cockpit view. I always like to drive in-car so can’t really comment on the other views. I find it much easier to gauge speed and position on the road from a cockpit view purely because it’s more realistic and I can put myself in the game more naturally. Both games have excellent views with this camera mode I’m pleased to say – they work really well.

One BIG gripe with Real Racing is that there is no rear view mirror on screen where NFS has both rear view and door mirrors with the in-car view. This is compounded by the fact that you have to press at the top middle of the screen to look behind which is pretty much impossible when you are holding the screen like a steering wheel! This seems like its just a direct port of the iPhone controls where it’s only a thumb distance away but this really doesn’t work on the iPad! Surely there is enough processing oomph to have an on-screen rear view mirror!?!

The cars, tracks & game structure

Both games have a quick race option and a career mode. Real Racing also has online leagues whereby you compete on time limited events to set your best result which is compared to other drivers registered for that league at the end of the timer, and championship results worked out from there. You can repeat each event as many times as you want within the timeframe until you are happy with your performance, then submit your times and move to the next event when the timer progresses. All this synchs up to their Cloudcell website where you can view stats, replays and league tables. This is a quality bit of depth that NFS lacks.

Real Racing is all circuit based venues, with racing kerbs, barriers, grandstands and gravel run-off areas. There is a good selection of fictional tracks which all look really nice. NFS on the other hand is all city based tracks. It has 4 famous cities with 7 variations of the same circuit in each. They all feel pretty similar to drive on so overall I prefer the RR tracks… But then I am a technical circuit racing fan over street racing! Having said that the tracks in NFS are well designed and fairly challenging so far.

Real Racing consists mainly of made up cars, with the only real-world car being a VW Golf GTi. There are 4 classes of car: hot hatches, saloons, muscle cars and GT sports cars – getting faster/harder to drive as you move up the ranks. Each class has a fair amount of cars within but they are basically all the same in each class, with different skins.

NFS has a good range of real cars with varying performance and drivability. You can also upgrade them with nitro, more power, better tyres and suspension. It would be a shame for this fact alone to be a decision maker for players but I can understand why it would be… It’s nice to pretend to drive your favourite make of car rather than some anonymous clones. However what it’s really about is the driving so lets move on!!

The driving & racing

Now the meat of any driving game is of course the driving!
This is where the games differ from each other the most, and where the root of my initial surprise stems from. When I first got my iPad, Real Racing was the 2nd app I downloaded (after Civ!) and I avoided NFS assuming it would be very arcadey on rails driving, but I’m happy to say that I was wrong!

Both games rely on picking your braking points and choosing a good racing line. Real Racing is more technical and strict on this in order to stay competitive once you get up to the higher levels of opponents, but that is largely because you are going so much faster around the laps that it’s so critical to get every turn in right and minimize the angles of the corners as much as possible.

Need for Speed feels much more under control with what I would say are more realistic travelling speeds, so it’s easier to pick your line and smoothly go around corners in a nice controlled arc. Even with steering help turned off there is some sort of influence there but I think its better for it… the driving is more FUN and less reliant on twitch reactions.

The AI give a good fight in both games. Again NFS is more under control… Cars stick to their lines more consistently so it’s easier to plan a pass on them. In Real Racing they drive a bit wild and seem to get pretty confused if you aren’t where they would expect you to be and doing simmilar speeds to them. It all moves too fast for you to really feel confident about placing your car next to them or outbraking them. It’s more a case of diving for the apex and hoping you can get on the power before them without running wide on the exit.

In terms of driving feel, RR is kind of seat of the pants driving, but very satisfying when you get a clean and fast lap in. It really does fly, especially with the faster cars. The downside is that it’s nigh on impossible to detect understeer or oversteer. In Need for Speed there is a nice transition into understeer, where you can almost FEEL the front end bouncing and scrabbling for grip. There’s a technique to recover the situation without clobbering the barriers, but you definitely lose momentum, so it is still satisfying when you get the slow-in fast-out approach right!

The BIG thing I don’t like in NFS is the fake way you force the car into a drift by turing the iPad quickly in the direction of the corner. It’s well overdone and very very arcadey. I don’t normally drive like that anyway but some events in the career are actual “drift” events, so you HAVE to do it to get enough points to pass. It just feels wrong. The drift angles are unnaturally severe and there is no skill in keeping it drifting, giving far too much leeway and pretty much sticking to the curvature of the bend on it’s own like Ridge Racer.

They are both aiming at different goals here but both are interesting to master.

The graphics & sounds

Graphically, they both look stunning in play. Real Racing has THE MOST AMAZING frame rate… seriously smooth (which is why I think they could easily implement an on-screen rear view mirror without impacting the performance at all) and really nice clear graphics. The bouncing effect when you jump over kerbs is very convincing and the pace really feels like playing on a current-gen console.

Need for Speed is a bit more jerky, which is distinctly noticeable coming straight from an RR session, but absolutely fine when playing. It would be nice if they could double the smoothness of frame rate but I think there is a bit more real-time shading going on here, so this probably will never happen, at least not in this version of the game, but I’m keen to see what future games can eek out of the iPad!

The audio in both games isn’t great compared to PC or current console games, but I think the sampled sounds in NFS are slightly more engrossing and appropriate to the vehicles than the analogue-digital-computer-generated-dynamic-on-the-fly technique used in Real Racing, where they sound a bit weak in comparison.

The verdict

I’m shocked to be saying this, because I’m a sim fan at heart and totally loved Real Racing on the iPhone, but Need for Speed is actually a better race experience in the most important ways for a driving game – namely the actual driving and battling with other cars!

I wish it had online leagues or even better, proper online racing. I wish it had more variety of tracks. I wish it ran smoother. I wish it had a longer career. But at the end of the day I’m having more fun with NFS Shift than Real Racing… sorry Firemint!!

Pinball HD: Flipping good fun!

Pinball HD is a perfect game for quick 10 minute blasts of gaming. The controls work really well with the touch screen whereby you can tap anywhere on the left for the left paddle and on the right for the right paddle. You slide the pin to launch the ball at various powers and the way you hold the screen in portrait orientation feels just right for a pinball table.

There are three tables to choose from, with their own unique feel, and online highscores to compete against. There are already some shockingly highscores to beat, so there must be some seriously good players out there!

The graphics are really smooth, colourful and sharp – really showing off the vivid colours of the iPad screen beautifully.

Theres scope for in game DLC for extra tables, and judging by the popularity of the game in ‘top grossing apps’ I reckon this won’t be too far away… here’s hoping anyway! It would be amazing if some of the classic real life tables were recreated for the game.

All-in-all this is an essential game to keep on the iPad which really will last for ever because there is inherently no end to the game – you can always try to improve your scores, as unlikely as it is that you will get into the world top ten at least there is something to aim for!

My Top 10 PS3 Games

This will be easier than the PC Top 10 purely because I have only bought a few PS3 games. My criteria for this list are longevity, fun, innovation or technical prowess.

  1. Little Big Planet: (Platformer by MediaMolecule – released 2008)
    I think there’s still a long way to go before the power of the PS3 is fully harnessed by developers, but LBP showed what really can be done. It’s a PS3 exclusive with a lot of input from Sony, so it uses the hardware to maximum effect (unlike most cross-platform ports) – and what an effect! The most interesting aspect to me are the level creator tools. It’s the ultimate platformer in my opinion with so much flexibility in the object oriented modular approach. You can almost do anything if you think about it in the right way just by combining switeches, pistons, motor joints and materials together. They real-time physics are unbelieveable (well, believable, actually) and things just feel “right” no matter what you do. It feels like your screen is just a window to a real experimental workspace, and you are jsut remotely inteacting with it with a joypad, rather than a computer game… quite an odd sensation at first. The textures are alive and the movement of different materials and objects just utterly convincing. It looks like a youngsters game, and I suppose it is, but the things you can make in the “creator” are so wide ranging that you can really make your own games, only limited by your imagination and the psuedo-3D world. Some users creations that are out there to download are absolutely stunning in the creativity and polish – even surprising the developers with their ingenuity of how THEIR tools were used!!
  2. Civilization Revolution: (Turn Based Strategy by Firaxis – released 2008)
    A nuetered cousing of the full PC game, but still great fun and a welcome “long session” game for the consoles. Having said that it plays at a much more frantic pace that the PC game, which tends to flow a lot better especially in late game. All the main decision making is intact though, and with weekly scenarios to compete on, random map generator, other scenarios, and downloadable content – there is enough meat here to keep you going and coming back for more. It’s kind of nice playing on the sofa too 😉
  3. DJ Hero: (Rhythm Game by FreeStyleGames – released 2009)
    A fascinating and addicitve game – admittedly you have to like this music style for it to appeal but I do! Although the rock based games of this nature are fun they don;t ring my bells like this hip-hop mash-up style. Some of the mixes are legendary and some of the harder levels in the game are insanely hard, even on medium setting let alone hard or expert 😮
    It helps being a DJ IRL too I tihink 😉
  4. Tom Clancy’s End War: (Real Time Strategy by Ubisoft – released 2008)
    This is in my list for having some amazing tech, not really being a great “game” but using the voice recognition control method transforms the experience in a jaw dropping way – showing what IS possible if only developers thought outside the box a bit more in general. It’s a fairly basic “scissors, paper, stone” RTS where you fight over control points of a map which benefit you through various upgrades you can apply to them, but you can control the entire game without actually using the joypad at all other than to “activate” the microphone. It feels so natural and intuitive once you learn the prompts and makes it feel like you really are a general in the filed of battle. You are not slowed down by the interface – you can pretty much play at the speed of thought, which feels great and should be done for all strategy games… I suppose the reason it’s not is that it may be an unfair advantage when played online against someone that isn’t using a mic., but we can’t let that minor point hold technology back!
  5. Ferrari Challenge, Trofeo Pirelli: (Racing by System 3 – released 2008)
    I’m probably biased but, being a fully fledged Ferrari Nut, I love this game. There’s about 40 different Ferrari’s in the game and they aim to release, as DLC, every Ferrari ever made!! The handling is a bit weird, although the cars do feel different to each other and there are some licensed tracks to race on both single player ‘seasons’ and online.
  6. WipEout HD: (Racing by Sony Liverpool – released 2008)
    A beautiful, classic, flowing, futuristic, low-grav racer that feels quite surreal to play once you get used to it. The frame rate is eye popping and the action intense. You need to be a Zen Master to be good at this, which I am not, but it’s still good for a blast and something you could get really satisfyingly good at given enough practice.
  7. Grand Theft Auto IV: (Third Person Action & Driving byRockstar – released 2008)
    Extremely polished in every way. A fun game that is worth coming back to in bite size chunks and progressing your character a bit more. Top quality audio, nice car handling, a good story, a vraiety of missions with great pace, lots of free roaming stuff to do between missions, or just go on a bender driving like a lunatic around a huge city map! All good fun!
  8. Assassins Creed II: (Third Person Action by Ubisoft Montreal – rleased 2009)
    Designed to work best on console, thisis the native home for this game! With a bit more variety than the first game in the series (which I thought was far too repetitive) this takes the action to Italy (my favourite country!) and continues the theme of accessing the memories of the lead characters ancestors. The movement of Altair, the character you control in the game, is sublime and the atmosphere of the game sophisticated. Not sure I would come back ater completing it, but as I am still playing it now, it goes on the list!
  9. Lego Star Wars, The Complete Saga: (Platformer by Traveller’s Tales – released 2007)
    Perfect game for a quick co-op play session with friends on the console. Always fun, great subject matter and one of the only Star Wars games that doesn’t feel like a cheapening of  the brand (Star Wars or Lego!).
  10. Heavy Rain: (Interactive Movie by Quantic Dream – released 2010)
    Another PS3 exclusive, I think it’s a great game but doens’t quite fit my criteria of lasting appeal due to the heavily scripted nature of the story-driven game. However it slots into last place just due to the originality and intrigue of playing again to see what other endings are like. It’s more fun (or… interactive) than simply watching a movie IMO! More like this please!
    » Read my 1st impressions of Heavy Rain.

I would like to give a special mention to Gran Turismo 5, but seeing as Polyphony Digital are taking an age to get around to releasing it (already about 6 confirmed release dates and delays!!) it’s hard to include in the list based upon the Prologue “paid for demo”… so we just have to wait. However, with the direct input from Sony developers, this is another title that will fully utilise the graphical power of the PS3 and it does look amazing… almost photo-real. The handling is still a bit ‘digital’ for my liking but the shear amount of content makes for a seriously long lasting game. Stated release date is now 24th September 2010 but I’m not holding my breath as I have heard it all before!

Wow that got hard towards the end!! Shows where gaming really lives IMO! PC all the way… where’s the depth gone? I know it’s a different audience but surely there’s room for more depth in console based games!?

On the other hand, for me, it’s worth owning a PS3 just for Little Big Planet, DJ Hero and other PS3 exclusives like Heavy Rain and Grand Turismo (when it finally arrives!).

What would be your top games that you couldn’t live without??

My Top 10 PC Games: Desert Island Discs

This is going to be hard!! I will write a Mini Review of my top games of all time here and be adding further links to more detail about each game as the blog expands.

My criteria for this selection is not necessarily the BEST games, but ones I would HAVE TO HAVE if I were only allowed these games for the rest of my life… this is “Desert Island Discs” for games 😀        …as long as they have an internet connection on this deserted island, we’ll be fine!

What are yours? Please comment but also base your selections on the same criteria. I guess for clarity I should mention that for example, of course, Deus Ex is a fantastic game and achievement, but could you play it forever? I couldn’t, so it’s not going in this list. Doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, but I want games that are “keepers” – for which, for me, they need to be deep and highly replayable. I prefer the “sandbox” type games for this reason so please don’t take offence if your favourite game is not on here, but it would be great to hear your arguments as to why you think it should be! 🙂

So here goes, with my absolute favourite first:-

  1. GT Legends: (Racing simulator by SimBin/10tacle Studios – released 2005)
    I have probably spent more time in GT Legends than all my other games put together, so I guess that automatically gives it the number 1 spot?!
    Based on 1965, 67 and 78 cars, but a recreation of the modern-day classic car racing series (now run by Top Hat). I feel like I am at one with the game… like I really am driving a car and can feel the slightest difference in it’s handling. I use a really nice wheel/pedal/H-shift gearstick setup, and with a 37″ screen about 60cm away (which I also want transported to my island) – it is the most absorbing thing in the world! Realistic car physics, tyre behaviour, car setup tweaks, force feedback steering, a massive number of downloadable tracks (and some new cars as mods too), and a great bunch of online gentlemen racers this game (and genre in general) is absolutely amazing!
  2. Civilization IV: (Turn Based Strategy by Firaxis/Sid Meier – released 2005)
    A truly ever-lasting game if you want it to be. Athough GT Legends is at #1, if I were only allowed one game, it would probably be Civilization because of the insane depth, variety, and replayability. It gets even more meat if you add the expansion packs Warlords and Beyond The Sword. I love that you can go at your own pace in single player mode, or play more competitively in multiplayer online. I have been playing this game for years and still don’t fully understand it so every minute is still a learning experience. What more could you ask of a game!? Maybe Civ 5 will be even better!!!??? 😀
  3. Sins of a Solar Empire: (Real Time Strategy by Stardock – released 2008)
    An epic space RTS with a unique and gorgeous interface which makes managing the game, even with it’s epic scale, very streamlined. It plays more like a board game than an action game and with the addition of the 2 more recent official expansions (Entrenchment and Diplomacy) there is a good amount of depth to the gameplay. It’s billed as an “RT4X” game (Real Time Explore, Expand, Exploit, and Exterminate) but what they have managed to pull off and what puts me off a lot of these games, is that in the late-game it doesn’t all become overwhelming! Things like the innovative “Empire Tree” allows you to see at-a-glance the status, position and strength of your forces around the galaxy. You can order ship replenishment and planet upgrades without having to actually scroll/find them, and you can assign ship factories to output new ships directly to your fleets so you don’t have to micro-manage your units leaving you to focus on the overall strategy. It’s depth and relationship between various research, factions, ship types and diplomacy means it’s got that classic element of “easy to learn, hard to master” which I find very appealing in games.
  4. Sim City 4: (Simulation by Maxis – released 2003)
    I’m in 2 minds about Sim City 4 or putting Cities XL in it’s place. Undoubtedly Sim City 4 is a better simulation and underlying game, but I just loved the creative freedom of the CXL graphics engine (curved roads, custom parks, fully movable camera in 3D space) but the game was weak and the strategy of Monte Cristo extremely questionable. I think going by my criteria Sim City 4 wins because of the much more ‘living sandbox’ nature, the stronger game mechanics and the way your city would evolve with a life of it’s own if you managed your city well. We need a Sim City 5!!!
  5. EVE Online: (MMO by CCP – released 2003)
    I can absolutely see the fascination with MMORPG games, but I have never been able to get into the fantasy theme most of them adhere to (looking at you WoW!)… but EVE Online did capture my attention for some time. It is a game I keep going back to then stopping a few months later. You really do need a LOT of time to put into this game to get anything worthwhile back – which sounds perfect for desert island life! The structure of the game is unique in that ALL players are on the same server which really does make this an alternate world.. and you can so easily get lost in it. Regularly there are 50,000 people online at the same time which just boggles my mind. And 7 years on there is no sign of it letting up with more and more joiining every day! The level of depth is astounding and overwhelming, but the community is ever ready to help you learn. It’s really something to get your teeth stuck into, but I just haven’t got the time to do it justice 😦
  6. Battlefield 2: (First Person Shooter by Dice Interactive – released 2005)
    I joined this game late, thinking I wouldn’t really be interested but I was wrong! I love the feeling of being part of a war effort, and you AREN’T the hero. You ARE expendable, so you gotta make sure you make yourself useful! I love the new Battlefield Bad Company 2 and will probably never go back to Battlefield 2 now, but really this was the pinnacle of PC multiplayer shooters in my view. If BC2 had 64 players per server and maps to match then hands down it would be better… Dice really do know how to put a MP game together, but blighted by console limitations it’s not all it could have been unfortunately so their older title wins out for my “keepers” list. I find games like ArmA too serious and complex and prefer the semi-arcade style of Battlefield to keep me interested. Don’t even get me started on Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising!!
  7. Rome, Total War: (Real Time & Turn Based Strategy by Creative Assembly – released 2004)
    There is something about this time period that I adore. I admit I have trouble getting through a whole campaign as they go on for such a long time, but with all the hours I will have alone on my island this would be the perfect time to finally complete the game! I have also played Empire: Total War but really don’t like the ship combat sections. Sometimes less is more and I think Rome had the best balance of depth and clarity… they just have to keep adding don’t they!!
  8. R.U.S.E.: (Real Time Strategy by Eugen / Ubisoft – released 2010)
    Now, I may be jumping the gun a bit here seeing as the game is not even released yet, but from the amount I have played the VIP and Public BETA, I just know I am going to love this game! It’s a relaxed but fast paced (if that makes sense) pure macro-strategy game. The strategies you can employ are almost endless and it’s great fun trying out new approaches which might work one time and might not the next – depends how you pull it off and who you are up against. The novel idea is that you can use deception (accrue “ruse” points during the game and spend them on various time-limited bonuses/boosts such as radio silence in a sector, camo nets, spies, speed boosts, terrorism, fake bases and attacks) which is just such a cool idea!
  9. Railroads: (Simulation & strategy by Firaxis / Sid Meier – released 2006)
    Although it’s quite shallow compared to previous releases in the series by Sid Meier, I find this version more fun and eminnently more playable. It has a tendancy to crash to desktop when your routes start getting too complex which is frustrating, but assuming it was stable this is a sandbox game I could play with and tweak for ages!! (Hint: Play on hard settings for the best experience, where the trains cannot pass through each other)
  10. Lock-On, Modern Air Combat: (Flight Simulator by Eagle Dynamics – released 2003)
    A Sim I have barely scratched the surface of due to the near vertical learning curve and lack of time to “get into it” – all I need is solitary confinement on a desert island 😀
    A close call between this and Falcon 4.0, with it’s dynamic single player campaign, but I think the variety in aircraft in LOMAC wins out for long-term playability. The complexity is extreme – you have to know your chosen bird’s systems inside out, and remember all your controls off the back of your hand – just like a REAL fighter pilot. There’s no short-cuts here. Even lcoking on to an enemy target requires running through several steps (selecting the correct radar scan mode, arming the weapon, getting within the right range and approcah corridor for the selected weapon, and all this has to be done under time and survival pressure)

Runner Up:
Settlers 7, Paths to a Kingdom:
(Real Time Strategy & Simulation by Blue Byte)

I’m still in my honeymoon period with this game, so my views on this may change with time, but it’s a surprisingly deep simulation with a lot of scope for different ways to win. It’s actually bloody hard!! Old-skool hard!!! Which is a lot of it’s appeal. When you do win you know you must have done something right! I may get bored of it once I figure out the intricacies, hence my hesitation to put it into the top 10, but so far it’s been great and because it’s largely focussed around competitive online multiplayer it may have some good mileage left in it.

    So that is my list… I am sure I have forgotten some gems, so join in by commenting below and give me your top 10’s ! 🙂

    I will be doing other lists of top games with different criteria so keep and eye out for those soon.

    The biggest let down in PC gaming history!

    Well, what can I say! Operation Flashpoint 2… Codemasters. I was following the development of this game for something like 4 years and rushed out to buy it on day 1 as I guess many millions of poeple around the world did. What a massive waste of time, for us, for the developers and for all the time I spent salivating over the prospect of the massive open battlefiled tactics!

    I really cannot believe the way it turned out. It still has such huge potential to be amazing but Codemasters (from now on known as Conmasters) are just not  interested. They fell at the last hurdle in 2 major ways… 1) Rushing the game out for Christmas… and 2) developing jointly and mainly for consoles 😦

    It’s still a good game at heart – but only 11 single player campaign missions over in a few hours and a completely unplayable multiplayer game (which I suspect 95% of gamers bought the game for) due to a really shoddy Peer-to-peer system. I think I only managed to get in to 3 or 4 games in the 3 months that I was trying (trying every day I might add) but it got to a frustration level where I just gave up entirely! That was money well spent – thanks Conmasters. I know this sounds like a 12 year old’s rant, but… “I’m not buying another CM game ever again and I mean it!”… disgraceful after sales customer services with absolutely no acknowledgement of the problems or any contact back on their forums after the game launched, when they were on there touting it weekly before release!!

    Don’t believe their ‘hype-machine’ for any future games – it’s all hogwash, I tell you!!

    Heavy Rain: 1st impressions

    Never played a game quite like this before. I don’t think I am that far into it yet – only playing in small doses (to make my £40 last!!) but it is definatley a unique experience as the hype would have you  believe ;p

    It has been quite a slow story so far but good fun all the way. Will be interesting to play through again and see how different the story goes. I’m not convinced it will stray that much from the core sotryline but I may be proved wrong. I’ve not been reading too much on other forums so that I don’t bump into any spoilers…