Professional Geek
RSS icon Email icon Bullet (black)
  • Geekmas 2013

    My family are always pretty good at getting me great gifts (an Amazon wish list is great “inspiration”) and this year I was pretty pleased!

    Star Wars – Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side

    A very fancy case reveals a book that I can only describe as a kind of Sith Bible.

    Here’s the description from Amazon

    The Sith have existed in the galaxy for centuries, lurking, waiting for their chance to seize control. As various Sith Lords emerged and rose to power, they recorded their thoughts, exploits, and plots for Sith control of the galaxy. When they fell, their knowledge vanished with them forever. Or so it seemed. . . .
    Over the years, these writings were passed among numerous Sith and Jedi, who added their comments to the pages. In his quest for domination, Darth Sidious tracked down what remained of five pivotal Sith texts written by his most powerful predecessors. Then, drawing on the knowledge within the compiled pages, he wrote a sixth text—his own manifesto. Together, these documents, along with several collected objects associated with them, shed light on the philosophy, achievements, and failures of the Sith Order. For years, this collection remained hidden, existing as legend only. But now all who are tempted may unlock the Book of Sith and delve into the dark side. . . .

    Raspberry Pi

    image

    This credit card sized computer is a really interesting bit of kit. I wanted one when they were first released but when the initial rush caused the stock to vanish I’ll confess I didn’t get around to going back for one. I spent a couple of hours with my niece and nephew when I first got it out of the box putting a little cartoon together in Scratch. I’ve got a couple of ideas for projects I’d like to tackle with it!

    Star Trek: Enterprise – The Full Journey

     

    Like any self respecting geek I love a bit of Trek! Enterprise is the one series though that I’ve not seen anywhere near enough of. Thankfully this box set means I can put that right!

    F1 Race Stars (XBox 360)

    I saw this at EuroGamer Expo a couple of years ago and liked the look of it. It plays a little like Mario Kart and is good fun as long as you’re not expecting it to be the next Forza!

    Did you get anything shiny?

  • XBox One, How Not To Do A Console Launch

    I can’t believe how badly Microsoft appear to have got this.

    After the PS4 launch all Microsoft had to do for a more successful launch than Sony was,

    Show the console

    Show some interesting games

    Show some cool features

    But first, the name, XBox One? If I went into a shop to ask for an Xbox One I’d be told “Sorry, we don’t sell those anymore”. From a marketing perspective I can see why they might go with it. Since they are intent on bringing all your entertainment into one place it sort of makes sense. But in reality it’s ridiculous! 

    Anyway, show the console? Check!

    Xbox One

    They talked about hardware specs which sounded ok, but it’s not like I can upgrade the components inside so they are what they are. They promised near silent operation and no repeat of the failure rate of the Xbox 360. If they can deliver that then great. Not something I’d specifically buy one for though.

    Interesting games? Meh.

    Forza 5 – I’ve never had a problem with the Foza franchise and from a graphics perspective it’s good way of showing the capabilities of the new device but…..it’s not going to make me want to rush out and buy one on launch.

    Quantum Break – ok cool, some new IP! But again at the moment not specifically making me want to part with my cash on day one. 

    Call of Duty: Ghosts – not for me. If you’re a COD fan I guess this might be interesting but I’ve tried other Call of Duty games and it’s not something I can get excited about.

    and that was it for games.

    “Wait for E3” we were told!

    And features! Here are a couple that are of note. 

    New controller – yep ok. I’ve been pretty happy with the controller I currently use but you can always improve right? But once again I’m not going to go rush out buy a console off the back of it.

    Controller

    TV – Let’s get to it then since this is what Microsoft spent more time talking about than anything else. As it’s been said in plenty of other places Microsoft seem to want to build an entertainment system that happens to play games whereas what the majority of people want (i.e gamers) is a games console.

    They talking quite a lot of the inconvenience of having to switch inputs between TV, Blu Ray and games console and how the Xbox One means everything is in one place! Come on, switching inputs isn’t that hard. My kids managed to do it ok and they are seven and four years old! Also if my countries TV system isn’t supported it’s not a lot of use. For me it sounds like a “nice to have” instead of “OMG I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE”.

    Kinect – Every console will come with one and you have to connect it. I don’t have a a Kinect for my current Xbox for two reasons. First, my living room is setup in such a way it just wouldn’t work and secondly there isn’t anything worth using it for that justifies the cost! That said, Skype is a big deal for me. We’ve got family the other side of the world and currently to use Skype everyone has to crowd around a PC, Laptop or phone and it’s a bit of a pain. Having a large screen and being able to not worry about being seen is cool. But again in the grand scheme of things this is a “nice to have”. I could quite easily replicate this by hooking up a PC to my TV and a camera just above it.

    Cloud / Azure – this could be interesting if developers use it in the right way. Microsoft have an enormous amount of computing power available in their datacentres. Allowing game creators to make use of processing away from the device could make for some interesting experiences. It will likely be some time before developers figure this out though. 

    So as launch it felt ok. But nothing that made me want to rush out and buy one but it caught my interest enough to wait for E3 and see what was next. Games after all are why want this, despite where Microsoft are obviously trying to take this I want games first. Anything else after that will be a nice bonus. 

    I don’t quite understand why Sony and Microsoft did the reveals in this way. If you’re holding stuff back for E3 why not just do it all there?

    But what really ruined it was how they have dealt with the things they hadn’t mentioned.

    There had been plenty of rumours about how the new Xbox would require an always on Internet connection or second hand games would be a thing of the past or how with the required Kinect sensor will having a camera permanently turn on in your living room have an effect on your privacy?

    Instead of just coming out with it they talked in very vague terms that only added to the confusion. On top of that different people were being quoted with totally conflicting information. All of this made it very infuriating when you’re supposedly trying to make people excited.   

    This meant that people were talking about that instead of the launch itself. Twitter, Facebook, forums, gaming sites and blogs were full of people asking for answers.

    It appears Microsoft were a little worried about it so last night they tried to clarify some of those points

    Ouch….

    Always onyour console will need to “check in” at least once ever 24 hours. This is because the discs aren’t really needed. You install the game onto the hard drive and play it from there. It’s a not very obvious way of weaning us all towards digital distribution (games will be available to download on the same day as they are released on disc) and that “check in” mechanism is to ensure you’re playing a game that’s tied to your Xbox account.

    Second HandWell they certainly scotched the rumour that Microsoft will be taking money for second hand sales. They wont. But the publishers now have the option to. Furthermore that link above has a lot info on how “games licensing” will work. Thing is though a lot of that will be very confusing to the average consumer who just wants to put the disc in and play the game.        

    PrivacyKinect will be under your control apparently. You’ll be able to pause Kinect sensing and control what happens to pictures and videos. Also,

    When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.

    This was the one page that was actually specific around certain scenarios. (I think, the privacy angle is not something I’d given a great deal of thought to)

    This actually hasn’t helped. Microsoft were skirting around the issue during the launch because they knew it might be received badly and I’d say “received badly” will be an understatement.

    To Microsoft this may sound amazing but there are people who own an Xbox 360 and don’t have an internet connection at all. There a people in the world who get all their internet access from their phone. A permanent fixed connection isn’t always wanted or needed. As it stands these people will be excluded from Xbox One. 

    The second hand sales area is what will be frustrating most people however. The key thing is how Microsoft are talking about it in terms of “games licensing”. For many years publishers and consumers have seen games in entirely different ways. Under law you never own the game, you are given a license to use the software but that isn’t how consumers see it. If you have a disc (or cartridge) then it’s “your” game and you can do with it as you wish, even it that means selling it, lending it to a friend or giving it away once you’ve finished with it.

    On top of this there is the money side of things. The second hand sale market hits publishers directly in the pocket. They can only ever make a profit from a game sale once. After that however, other people make plenty of profit from it. Stores such as Game can buy and resell that game many times over, making a profit each time. The whole area of the way Game (and other stores) work the second hand market could make an entirely separate post that as lengthy as this one already is but it’s obvious that publishers want a slice of that money. 

    As I understand it game retailers will need to work with Microsoft to facilitate this system to re-activate the second hand game and pass on the cut to the publisher. If this mechanism is complicated and costly it’ll likely mean big trouble for small independent shops (which will be a travesty if it’s true – there aren’t enough of them about as it is)

    Sony must have something similar in mind surely? This will have been asked for by the publishers but if Microsoft are going alone on this then Sony will clean up this generation! If I were a retailer and Xbox has this “baked in DRM” and the PlayStation didn’t then I’d only stock the PlayStation!

    In the run up to a console release you need to drive interest and demand for your product. At the moment everything Microsoft are doing seems to be having the opposite effect and Twitter, Facebook, forums, gaming sites and blogs seem to be full of people who are saying they don’t play on getting an Xbox One.

    They’ll need to pull something special out of the bag at E3.

    After all that, looks like that PlayStation 4 reveal wasn’t so bad after all?

  • Retro Computer Museum–Help please!

    I first came across the Retro Computer Museum in 2010 when I saw the guys who run it give a presentation at the Vintage Computer Festival.

    image

    Back then they didn’t have a permanent “home” and could only hold a few open days per year in the village hall in Coalville. Since then they have worked really hard behind the scenes and have ran events at the Snibston Discovery Museum

    Me on Playstation 1

    and BBC Radio Leicester (Spark Festival)

    Alice on Super MarioEvie on Chuckie Egg

    They also managed to find a more suitable base of operations that you can visit pretty much any weekend by making an appointment.

    Unfortunately they have become victims of their own success and have outgrown the current space available. I can sympathise on this front. My own collection consumes much more space in my home than Mrs P would like!

    They have managed to find a much bigger venue in Leicester but as is always the case with these things their costs have now gone up dramatically. So they are looking for help to help them move to the next level and provide an even better service.

    The new venue is much larger and it’s location will make it much more accessible for visiting and will enable them to offer a wider range of services moving forward.

    RCM is what I can only describe as a living museum. The computers and systems they have don’t sit locked away in cabinets. Instead they are made available for use so they can be enjoyed as much now as they were back when they were considered cutting edge technology.

    The guys there do a great job and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the museum and their hard work shouldn’t go unnoticed.

    If you can spare a couple of pounds it would be going to a great cause!

    PLEASE!

    http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/retrocomputermuseum

  • Play Expo 2012

    After my trip to EuroGamer this was quickly followed by my annual trip to the north west for Replay Expo under the new branding of Play Expo.

    Replay Expo used to be one of the biggest retro gaming events in the country and myself and several friends have made the trip to Blackpool for the last couple of years to spend a weekend playing classic games from yesteryear.

    WP_000167

    A bit of tradition at every retro event…beating StreetFighter 2

    The change of name reflects a change of focus for the event. While there is still a heavy focus on retro gaming which is now just one section called “Re.Play” alongside,

    “Cos.Play” – costume competitions, talks, traders and lots of people all dressed up!

    “Now.Play” – this area focuses on new and upcoming games, hardware and accessory releases.

    “Pro.Play” – an eSports event (EGL 8) featuring competitive tournaments.

    This considerably bigger event also meant a change of venue to EventCity next to the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

    So let’s get it out of the way….The first day got off to a terrible start.

    Doors were scheduled to open at 11.00. We arrived around 10ish and as with previous years there was already a large queue full of people eager to get in first. In previous years once the doors have opened the early crowd get in pretty quickly and everyone else who turns up just after 11.00 then get in just as quickly as a “second wave”.

    Unfortunately 11.00 came and went and the doors weren’t opened. The queues started getting larger and no-one really knew what was going on. I checked the EuroGamer twitter account and Facebook page but couldn’t find anything out. Eventually I managed to find a staff member and was told a power cut had caused a 30 minute delay. However, it was much closer to 12.00 by the time the doors were opened and the once organised queue started to collapse as people tried to get in.

    I decided it best to not get involved with this and as we’d been standing in the cold for a couple of hours went to get a cup of tea. Half an hour later people were still trying to get in and it was 12.50 by the time I actually made it inside.

    The organisers added an extra two hours onto the event in an attempt to compensate but this wasn’t great for anyone who had a train booked and as it turned out some of areas such as the pinball still closed at the regular time.

    On top of this the presentations were all cancelled as there issues with the PA system.

    I was also rather miffed at the catering. Regardless of the time of day it was a big queue to stand in to get some food and as my with my visit to EuroGamer the local mobile network struggled to cope so staying in touch with friends proved hard work. WP_000175

    Not very well illustrated but…queues

     

    But……now that’s out the way.

    The event was as usual very entertaining and everyone I was there with all said how much of a great time they had.

    I didn’t spend all that much time in the Now.Play section. Having been to EuroGamer a week or so beforehand I didn’t really feel the need. I did give PES 2013 another go as well as NBA2K13. Initially I wondered why you’d need this section considering there are dedicated events like EuroGamer but my opinion did change afterwards. Not everyone wants to go to events in London. The location was a serious consideration when booking my tickets to EuroGamer so if you live in the north of the country I can understand that even more so.Having a small part of the event used to preview some of the newer games is generally a good thing and the larger venue meant it wasn’t at the expense of the other areas.

    The Pro.Play section was a link up with EGL (European Gaming League) which had a very different vibe due to it’s competitive nature. Not really my scene so I largely avoided it but you had to go through the section to get to the catering but it certainly showed the more serious side of gaming. It felt very much like an event within an event. I didn’t see all that many people who were involved with EGL doing anything in the Re.Play section (they weren’t difficult to spot).

    The Cos.Play section was pretty cool. At any big gaming event there are always people dressed up as their favourite characters so embracing that as a part of the event was a smart move, especially as it adds a real sense of fun to the whole atmosphere.

    The Re.Play area was exactly what you’d expect. Just about every gaming platform you’d care to think about as well as pinball machines and classic arcade machines.

    WP_000176

    Awful picture of Space Harrier..but there was a queue!

    This year I somehow managed to avoid spending a small fortune on anything but as usual there was a great variety of stands selling their wares.

    Two new additions this year which were pretty good were Retro Request Zone and the mobile site.

    In the Retro Request Zone if you wanted to play a specific game on a specific system a member of staff would go find it from their collection and bring it to you! A great idea as there are limits on the amount of games they can have out at any one time.

    The mobile site could be found at www.playexpo.net/mobile.

    image

    The site allowed you to find your way around, discover what was going on in each zone as well as browse the list of games available at the previously mentioned request zone. The only downside to this was the fact I could barely use it. The mobile network just wasn’t up to it on the day and I couldn’t use the site.

    If I could add a suggestion for next year I’d love some kind of match up service. The ability to find people to play against on favourite games would be interesting. There tournaments that are run over the weekend but if it’s not one of your favourite games you’re out of luck.

    So in summary while the event got off to a bad start it made up for it in every other area. Everything that has been good about the previous events is still there with some nice touches to improve the experience.

    It’s highly likely I’ll be back again next year!

    There is a great post-event round up on the PlayExpo site with reviews, videos and pictures.

  • My First Trip To EuroGamer Expo

    This is a little late as the expo was at the end of September!

    WP_000143

    The EuroGamer Expo is one of those events that sneaks up on me each year and I never get around to booking tickets so after getting the heads up from a friend this year I made sure I’d got tickets booked in plenty of time (Thanks Niaz!)

    If you don’t know the event is a huge exhibition where game developers bring out their latest and greatest to show off for the public to preview (in the hope they will go on to buy them at a later date of course..it’s all mutually beneficial!)

    As well as all the new stuff there are developer sessions, a retro section as well as plenty of things to buy and people dressed as their favourite characters.

    Nuns, Hitman and Lara!

    Earthworm Jim!

    So in terms of new “big” games what did I actually play?

    Assassins Creed 3 – I was really looking forward to playing this and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m a big fan of the series and it looks great and plays as you’d expect it to play. The naval battle demo was interesting even though I was a but rubbish at it. I’ll certainly be picking this up.

    Tomb Raider – This is a game that wasn’t really on my radar and was pleasantly surprised at how good it is. It looks great and takes a very different style to the previous games. From a plot perspective think of it as a “reboot”.

    Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 – I’ve been avoiding football games (i.e FIFA and PES) for the last few years, it’s probably a subject of another blog post but I thought I’d give it another try as there happened to be a free controller as I walked past. The verdict? Seems like a big improvement so I’ll give PES a chance this year if i can find a copy at the right price.

    DOOM 3 BFG Edition – This was actually my first experience of playing a 3D game. I wasn’t overly impressed. The whole thing seemed to dark to be able to tell what was going on and while the 3D effect was nice while just walking around and exploring it just didn’t work once the action started to get a little frantic. Not for me.

    Hitman Absolution – I don’t really have much knowledge of the Hitman series. This wasn’t a bad game but didn’t really grab me. Probably worth a second look at some point though.

    There were also lots of games I was happy to watch other people play (in part as I really didn’t want to join some of the larger queues!). Sim City, Halo 4, F1 Race Stars, An Unfinished Swan, Prison Architect, Rocksmith all caught my attention.

    WP_000150 

    In terms of the event itself what was good and what was bad?

    Actually there were plenty of good things to talk about.

    It was really good to see lots of families at the event. Gaming covers such a broad range of people now it was nice to see something other than the stereotypical “hard core”. The separate over 18 section was good to see in this respect. 

    The venue. I’ve never actually been to Earls Court before. But on the whole I couldn’t think of anything wrong as such. There was plenty of space and it never felt crowded at any point and the queues to get in disappeared much quicker than I thought they would.

    Accessibility -  my friend had a minor operation on his leg the week before the event but was still only able to walk about with a crutch. The staff at the event were really great though, making sure he was able to do everything with a minimum of fuss.

    Developer Sessions – I only managed to see the Prison Architect session in person and it was great! Hearing the thought process behind the whole history of the game was really interested and they kept the room entertained throughout. You can find links to the sessions that were recorded on the EuroGamer website

    Free Stuff – They were giving away some neat stuff at the various stands if you got in quickly enough. I’ve got a very cool little Hitman character sitting on my desk in the office.

    And the not so good?

    Mobile phone coverage – there were a lot of people at the Expo and while I was able to use the website and follow the Twitter hashtag initially before long my mobile phone quickly became a glorified camera. I was barely able to send texts or make calls for most of the day, let alone use the Internet. This was really disappointing. There were some people I was hoping to catch up but it was impossible to communicate with anyone. I’d have happily have paid a bit extra for my ticket in return for some WiFi. 

    Queues – yeah it’s an obvious one but there was tons I didn’t get to do because I was unwilling to wait in a queue. I really wanted to check out Halo 4 but I’m not so desperate that I’d stand in line for an hour. I had an early access ticket that I failed to take advantage of properly. As it was my first time I spent half it just walked around taking it all in. If I’d realised what would happen to the queues I’d have got all the games I wanted to play sorted in that first hour. 

    Free Stuff – yeah this is probably a little unfair but…..After the event I got an email with a free trial code for 30-days access to PSN+. I do appreciate the gesture – really – but as I don’t own a PS3 or a Vita it wasn’t much use to me. I’ve also got a code for a free iOS Lara Croft game. Very nice..but again I don’t own an iOS device.

    You’ll probably agree that’s not a huge list of bad things though.

    I’m planning on going again next year and if you’re into gaming at all it’s worth checking out! 

  • Retro Computer Museum – Event – April 2012

    It’s not really a massive secret I’m a little partial to a spot of retro gaming.

    Back in 2010 I first visited the Retro Computer Museum and I’ve been quite a few times since.

    The guys there work really hard and put in a lot of their free time in keeping everything running smoothly. What’s really great about any event they put on is that all of their “exhibits” are setup and ready for you to play. Nothing is hidden behind glass cases so if you quite fancy playing some of those games from yesteryear then it’s worth taking a look at their next event.

    RCM April

    It’s on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th of April at the Snibston Discovery Museum. I’ve been to the venue before and that’s worth a visit anyway but with the added bonus of checking out the RCM stuff it’ll make for a great trip.

    Tickets are available here.

    Hope to see you there, I’ll be taking on all comers at Super Streetfighter 2 for the Super Nintendo.

    Smile

  • Retro Computer Museum–May 2011

    If you’re into video games you should really think about getting tickets for the Retro Computer Museum Weekend in Coalville just outside of Leicester.

    It’s on the 7th & 8th of May and I can highly recommend it.

    Last year when it was a single day event Richard Tubb and I went and had a great day.

    We’ll both be going on the 7th this year (it’s my wedding anniversary that weekend – going both days would probably be pushing it Smile) and it’d well worth the trip.

    It’s at the village hall in Coalville which is a great venue for something like this as it’s not a huge exhibition hall so everyone chats to each other.

    One of the highlights last time around was the Bomberman tournament they projected onto the wall, even though I was terrible at it. The winner picked up special edition golden Game Cube. I’m hoping the tournament this time around is something I might stand a chance of winning – though unless it’s Street Fighter 2 this is unlikely Winking smile

    It’s £6.00 if you book the tickets in advance and £7.50 on the day, though I can see the tickets running out so get in there quickly!

  • Competitive Advantage?

    I’ve really neglected my blog this year

    Having baby number two has monopolised a lot of my time and something had to give. I started a couple of posts but deleted them as they didn’t seem too great to me

    Now that I’m getting used to the sleep depravation (actually that should be, now that getting used to the extra sleep depravation) I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things and what better way than with a good rant! 🙂

    I’m a massive fan of the streetfigher series of games so I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Streetfighter IV

    I had a quick look on the Game website this morning and saw this

    clip_image001

     

    Bargain i thought and as there is a Game store just around the corner from the office I thought I’d pick it up on the way home

    When i got to the shop i was disappointed to find it was labelled up at £34.99.

    I enquired at the desk and was told that the website is a “separate division so they work to different price lists”

    I’m fully aware that online stores have lower running costs compared to the shop. Surely this means the shop needs to “add value” so I’ll purchase in store as opposed to online

    One of the easiest ways to differentiate yourself is by having great customer service but this isn’t something I’ve ever experienced in a Game store to be honest. There is never enough staff on meaning you always have to queue which gets on my nerves. The knock on effect to this is when you do have a question there is never anyone to speak to!

    So as far as i can see the only advantage i get from buying it in store is the fact i get it straight away

    I’m not that desperate to get the game though this instant and the website has free delivery with a two day turnaround

    I only really buy from Game as i have a ton of points on my loyalty card (which you have to pay to get….) so once I’ve used those i can’t really see me going into a Game store again

    Am i being unreasonable?

  • Mirrors Edge – XBox 360

    I haven’t posted anything game related in a while, mainly as I’ve been playing Pro Evo 2009 (more on that later!) but since I got a couple of games for Christmas I’ve spent a bit more time away from the football!

    I saw a couple of reviews and screenshots of Mirrors Edge and added it to my Amazon wish list as a reminder to take a better look at it at a later point

    Since it was on my wish list my good wife picked it up for me and i’m glad she did

    First up I’d like to congratulate EA and DICE as publishers and developers for trying something a bit different

    The main theme of Mirrors Edge is that you are a “runner” whose job it is to deliver information for an underground organisation

    The term runner nods to “free runners” (see video below) who jump across buildings and climb over obstacles using various acrobatic means. I’m sure you’ve all seen this sort of thing?

    The game is played from a first person perspective (like Halo, Call of Duty, etc) and when I first realised this I was a bit concerned because if you’ve tried to do any sort of jumping and climbing in a first person shooter you’ll probably understand my frustration as it rarely works all that well (mainly because your view means you can’t see the floor and where you going at the same time) so I was pleasantly surprised that the controls are pretty easy to get to grips with and before I knew it I was sliding under barriers and jumping off walls like a good ‘un

     image

    image

    Graphically it’s amazing and any screenshots you see don’t really do it justice. Once you’ve mastered the controls and you’re stringing together jumps and slides, the action moves at quite a pace and the feeling of speed is very realistic

    I read in a review (somewhere – can’t remember where it was sorry) that the combat sequences feel “tacked one” like an marketing afterthought and I can see where this view is coming from. Your character doesn’t carry a gun and is generally expected to run from the bad guys using her skill and speed to get away. You can take weapons from the bad guys but this isn’t all that easy and there are actually two achievements (XBox) you can obtain by not using any weapons. However, every so often the game forces you stand up to the enemy and go toe to two with them and the game wont continue till you have knocked them out whereas in other sections the point is to get away. When there is four of them and they all have machine guns it can get a bit frustrating!

    My only real gripe with the game is sometimes it isn’t immediately obvious what you have to do next. You’ll be trapped in a room and the only way to advance is to find a way to the air conditioning vent high up in the corner of the room. (I think these are generally called “puzzles”!)

    If you don’t have a lot of patience I could see some gamers giving up in frustration.

    I finished Chapter six last night and according to the achievements list I’ve got two more to go. Other than the main story mode there are also time trial and speed run modes which will be also be worth a look once I’ve got tired of all the difficultly modes

    There also isn’t any online functionality other than the time trial leader boards. It would have been cool to maybe race against friends across a level but maybe there will be scope for this in a sequel?

    When I was talking to someone about this I compared to playing a first person version of Jet Set Radio Future (can we have a new version of that please??)

    In summary I’ve really enjoyed playing this so far and the small annoyances wouldn’t stop me from recommending it though the lack of online features make me wonder about how often you would revisit this after completing the story mode and getting some decent times on the trial mode

  • Shame on you Konami

    I never thought i’d say this but i dont think i can play Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 anymore….

    I’ve been a huge fan of this series of football (soccer) games since it’s early incaration as International Superstar Soccer on the SNES

    The previous version was the first on the XBox 360 and while it was deemed a success many felt they hadn’t pushed the hardware enough and it didn’t deserve the “next gen” tag. However the online play was massively addictive with it’s only problem being the occasional slowdown (lag) when on busy broadband connections

    So i eagerly awaited the arrival of the latest version which i’ve had for a couple of months now. As usual they have tweaked the game enough so that it is still Pro Evo but different enough so that it’s not just an graphic and team update.

    I usually play it offline for a little while then jump in once confident i’m not going to get hammered every time. It didn’t take me long to get into the swing of things and was happy with the changes

    This is where my happiness quickly wore off.

    The online version this time around is dreadful

    It doesn’t suffer from slowdown…at all! However ,the problem is what i can only describe as jerkiness. The ball and players seem to randomly jump around the pitch and the camera usually follows them

    This makes for hugely frustrating games. Earlier tonight i was playing a really close game with someone. I had the ball on the halfway line, looking to start a new attack when the ball suddenly disappeared and reappeared at the feet of the striker. Who promptly scored to send me to a disappointing loss. At least in the previous version if you got slow down you knew you’d still have the ball at the end of it

    Apparently Konami have released a patch but i don’t think it’s made any difference. I’ve stuck with it a while as the game has years of goodwill on it’s side but i came very close to damaging some equipment tonight

    In modern gaming online gaming can make or break a game. I don’t understand how they can go from having it pretty much spot on last time round to the shoddy state it’s in now 

    The basics don’t even work. There is an achievement for scoring a direct free kick during an online game. I’ve done this twice tonight (which is rare..i’m crap at free kicks) and still no achievement

    From looking on other sites i’m not the only one to be annoyed with this. Fingers crossed for a new patch soon or Fifa my get another look in, which if your a fan of either game you’ll know it’s like changing the team you support!

    🙁