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Welcome to the Rofling Officer Productions blog, where you will mainly find extremely cynical reviews by a British Stereotype (usually with my good friend, John Smith). These reviews will most often be of games and films, but also have a few little projects.

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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Top 15 Games of 2011!

Dan: Welcome to our annual tradition of announcing the best games of this year, which we’ve narrowed down into 15 slots that were so hotly contested that some of the choices are actually kind of shit. Anyway, we’ll start (as countdowns from 15 often do), with number 15, which is a game where no one could CHART where it would end up, hence it was:

15. Uncharted 3

John: Nathan Drake is possibly the most insufferable character I have ever seen this side of Essex. He makes me want to rip my eyes out and shove them in my ears so I don't have to hear his bull crap anymore. However this in itself really doesn't make Uncharted 3 or any of the Uncharted series bad games, in fact I love them, and this one is more of the same with just a few additions. It is not as good as the second one, partly because the second one was in the top three games I have played on my PS3 and partly because the second one did innovate on the first unlike this inclusion into the series.

14. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Dan: Halo: Combat Evolved is the best game in my favourite gaming series, so by that logic I should just give the anniversary edition 10 and call it a day. But no, 343 Industries included some new features, so let’s have a look at them. There’s Multiplayer now, with some classic Halo maps thrown in, which seemed to be pretty good to me. The unfortunate thing is: it’s just Halo Reach multiplayer. And as fun and good as that is, I feel those maps should have just been added onto to Halo fucking Reach. But whatever, if this really bothers you then boo hoo, but personally I could just play that fucking campaign over and over again slapping my hands together and drooling. Just like 10 years ago, the campaign is as compelling and great as ever, and the weirdest criticism of the game I’ve heard as of yet is that “it’s the exact same campaign as 10 years ago”. IT’S A BLOODY HD REMAKE, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT TO HAPPEN? Master Chief vs Samus? A Captain Keyes boss fight? A Cortana sex scene?! There have been a few little changes here and there, mainly the addition of terminals that you can access to get backstory about the Forerunners and shit, if you love to find out about lore. Other than that, it’s the same great campaign of 10 years ago updated with some nice looking graphics. 343 Industries haven’t sold me on them yet, we’ll see how shite (or otherwise) Halo 4 is next year.

13. Dungeons of Dredmor

John: 2011's has seemed to have been the year in which roguelikes have come back in force shaping It like a piece of clay until the genre has completely changed. From games such Brogue and Desktop Dungeons, to even The Binding of Isaac. All have added their own charm to the genre. However the best of all is Dungeon Defenders, a game with the cartoon humour of a violent Looney Tunes, and more ways to customise your character (not in a physical way but in the way you play) than a plastic surgery clinic. It also updates the graphics of Roguelikes, which is nice.

12. Space Marine

Dan: When I first played the Warhammer 40k: Space Marine demo a few months ago, I was blown away by how fucking FUN it was. It was in the days of dread before Battlefield 3, MW3, Rage etc. You know, the boring cover shooting regenerating health shit that I keep fucking BANGING on about like the twat I am. Anyway, I got Space Marine and launched it, and within 10 minutes I was gleefully laughing my way through it. It’s been ages since I laughed at a game, not since Portal 2, but Space Marine was funner than using a shotgun that fires exploding lasers at zombies, which is an apt comparison as there is a gun that feels just like that. The jetpack is like being hooked up to a drip that feeds endorphins, jumping into the air, sniping 5 Orcs in the head and then smashing into the ground, sending another 20 flying off a fucking ledge is infinitely more satisfying than popping out of cover, shooting a bloke, then having strawberries thrown all over your eyes. This game is fucking great at its core gameplay so if you want a game where you want to chill out and kill shit for a few hours, or your some sort of masochist and enjoy Warhammer 40k lore, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Space Marine.

11. Arkham City

John: Just to be clear, this game would have been higher if they hadn't delayed it for so long on the PC and yet still having problems with it, just as the random framerate drops. I also occasionally find the combat, while smooth, be more fiddly than a buttered up fiddler crab, randomly having me attack somebody who I was not aiming for, probably because he stole my chocolate or something.

However once you ignore this, you realise that this game is probably the best Superhero game you have ever played, and when you think that there is more of a chance for a turtle to flip you off than a superhero game to be good, it is very impressive. The main quest is extremely good, as well as the amazing sidequests, such as the Zsasz one, and the great exploration, it really does give this slick game a place on the list.

And now we're into the top 10.

10. Battlefield 3

John: The campaign of this game is the sort of thing you would enjoy, if your list on fun things to do included being repeatedly stabbed in the balls, or being raped by a wild armadillo. I don't know who would want to watch a movie instead of play a game, but that's what this is... probably made by Uwe Boll. It is your generic Modern regenerating health shooter, which involve you staring at more strawberry jam than a fat person, and when you're not doing that, you're admiring the architectural skills used to create a brick wall. And I'm talking about the online as well here.

Ah the online, in my eyes practically the same as that of Modern Warfare 3 apart from a few maps. All it involves is running around before being shot in the arse by somebody probably just playing a practical joke. The worst for these is Operation Metro, where the middle of the map has more men in it than a gay brothel. And you can't appreciate how good (because god it does look good) it looks when it's raining or extremely light in almost every map, all that does is blur your vision, like watching porn while having a man's arse shoved in your face. There are exceptions however, and they are Caspian Border, Tehran Highway and Back to Karkand maps. The first two because they are extremely fun to play on, especially flying around in a helicopter on Caspian Border with the finesse of a one winged Ostrich (however I usually ride shotgun in vehicles as an engineer, or some guy from the Washington DC ghettos) and for Back to Karkand it was obvious that they would be good maps, as they were in the Battlefield 2. So all in all, other than in the few good maps online, I didn't find this game enjoyable so just went back to Team Fortress 2,
Daniel did like it though so here's his opinion, not that I care, as its shit.

Dan: Battlefield 3 is probably the best (realistic) shooter of the year, which really depresses me. This is because of how painful the campaign was to play. A mesh of ridiculously unforgiving Quick Time Events (shudder), a very silly plot surgically taken from Tom Clancy and Modern Warfare and almost on rails gameplay throughout poison this game. This game is not only the best realistic shooter this year; it also has the very worst campaign of any shooter I’ve played in a while. There is a 3 minute section before you do a rail shooter section where you aren’t allowed to fucking move your character up to the jet, you can’t look around, you can’t take your helmet, and you can’t have a look around the ship. It’s ridiculous. From start to end the campaign (however nice it looks, and oh fucking hell does it look nice) feels terrible, and the only remotely alright bit is the tank section, but even then a lot of control is stolen from you. Moving on from the FRIGHTFUL single player, the Multiplayer (in my opinion) continues Battlefield’s trend of excellence. The beautiful environments make me literally duck whenever something explodes near me, and there are some fantastic moments that are genuinely fun, one such moment is when you parachute down to the next part of the map in Damavand Peak, that feels brilliant. Doing a HALO (sort of) jump like that brings back bad memories of the campaign, but other than that Battlefield 3’s multiplayer feels excellent, just like it’s predecessors.

9. Terraria

John: Now this is the game that I wanted Minecraft to be, except in a 2D setting. It takes all the building parts of Minecraft and adds in more RPG elements than a Dungeons and Dragons party. You have the item progression and the bosses.

This game is unfairly described as a Minecraft rip off, but that would be like saying that all FPS' are rip offs of each other, or that snowmen are rip off's of real men. This game adds so much more depth to Minecraft, which can leave you feeling bored, while this game does not, with its challenging bosses and different enemies. It's not a game that I can talk about that much though, as it all depends on how you play it.

The name also sounds like your being orally raped by a dentist, but we will just skip over that.

However, even though I've said this is what I wanted Minecraft to be like, you may be wondering why Minecraft is one place higher, well just read about it next.

8. Minecraft

Dan: I am a newcomer to Minecraft, as I had other less nerdy things to do like read comics and play Warhammer, but recently launched a game and having been force fed random trivia from people and videos I knew exactly what to do to start. It peaked my interest, but I wasn’t totally sold on the “best game ever” stamp being stuck on it absolutely everywhere. In PC Gamer I saw a massive amusement park built in Minecraft, I read about fully functioning computers with rudimentary games playing on them. My jaw literally dropped. Minecraft is totally overwhelming to a newcomer, and it almost turned me off. But I persisted and mined and crafted and fought my way through giant cocks until I built a huge sprawling mine. Then I thought: I want a lava waterfall! So I made that. Then I thought: how about a train system. So I built that. I was lost. Minecraft had consumed me. I have absolutely no idea how to review Minecraft, it’s fucking huge. I still have no bloody idea how to get to the nether, I have no idea how to make cakes, but I can tell you I have had a great time for the little I’ve done SO FAR. This is one of the most interesting games I’ve ever played and it may have even turned me onto Terraria, so you owe to yourself as a gamer to check this out, because it seems like this will be the start of a golden age. To sum up as best I can: the graphics are cute and look like someone spilt tea on the scribbling of a 4 year old, coming up with a project (making large lava falls and a train system) then seeing it come to fruition is endlessly satisfying, because there are endless fucking possibilities. Phew. Have I finished the review now? Yay now I can play Minecraft again…

John: Easily this year's success story (I know, I know, it was released in alpha last year), this is the game which proved that having more blocks than a building supply shop can create a good game. I can think of no other game which will let me create a huge squirrel next to a diamond model of a arse (I didn't do either of those) before going out to kill some exploding, green phalluses. The possibilities in this game seem almost limitless, well other than the limit of creating a lesbian sex scene with Angelina Jolie, but it comes damn close to anything being possible.

The fact that people have made full functioning computers in this game shows the scale of things possible. I myself usually play this in creative mode, getting bored of survival (however I did just "finish" the game by killing the Ender Dragon), so have built some huge structures. It is a game that I will fire up every so often if
I'm bored and get lost in for hours and hours seeing new things to do. It will get updated regularly by Mojang, and even though Notch has moved on to working on a new game for them, the team still works hard on it. I applaud Markus Persson for this amazing game, and starting off (yes I know about Infiminer) this new genre, and I for one hail our blocky overlords.

7. Bastion

John: Easily one of the funniest games I have played this year, the Narrator is funnier than watching a fat person slip on a banana skin. The way he makes observations in his voice which sounds as if he's swallowed a ton of nails adds to the enjoyment of the game and helps create a story which feels like one of your own, even if you couldn't create your own character. After playing this game I feel that even Diablo 3 couldn't beat it.

And I haven't even mentioned the soundtrack yet, which sounds amazing, and is probably the best I have heard in any game, but I'm not a music reviewer, as reviewing music is like trying to get a turtle to drive a car so my opinion is worth fuck all anyway.

It is one of the games this year which shows that the higher the selling price, the better the game, is a statement which is certainly not true.

6. Serious Sam 3: BFE

John: Probably the best and most fun, first person shooter, I have played in a very, very long time. Serious Sam scoffs at all your fascination for your own strawberry jam and love of brick walls. That sort of thing is for people who get scared of kittens. Instead Serious Sam is armed with more weaponry than Sarah Palin when she sees a communist. And no you don't need to keep slamming your finger down on a button when it pops up on the screen as if your trying to perform some lewd sexual act with it either, because this is a man's game, not some pussy film.

Yes the first few levels of this game are pretty terrible especially the museum level, and are more on rails than a very good train, they also involve you journeying through more corridors than if you're working in fucking real estate. However after this, god is it a good game, enemy blood splatters over your eyes, not your own, and paints the map, like a psychopaths dream in the jam. The weapons all feel amazing to use, from the sledgehammer to the laser rifle, and leave you laughing in a manic fashion as you kick a clone to the ground before sending his body flying with the shotgun. However unlike the other violent, fun game, Space Marine, this isn't really a game you can chill out to.

I'm surprised I managed to go this long without mentioning the co-op, which is amazing if you have a friend to play with... Which I don't so Dan had to do. We could waste on end playing it online it was that fun, with infinite respawning and friendly fire on, it makes the game extremely hectic and enjoyable. There is nothing better than going on rampages with a friend (no we are not condoning mass murder) killing monsters. Overall, this game makes me happy after the crap we suffered with Duke Nukem Forever, and Serious Sam takes back the old school shooter crown... By killing the Duke with a shotgun blast to the face, while he stands around disgustingly slapping wall boobs like the weird necrophiliac (as opposed to those normal necrophiliacs) that he is.

Dan: Serious Sam 3 is incredibly fun, and I took no notice of it until I realised it was an old school shooter and therefore infinitely more fun than obese blokes wearing enough armour to wallpaper the entire fucking world lurching from cover to cover ala Gears of War. And it is. I am currently about a quarter of the way through the game I have more weapons than I have teeth and I can run faster than a uranium fuelled Usain Bolt. Not to mention fights are tense and exciting with the omission of regenerating health meaning I don’t have to crouch behind a wall rubbing my temples and willing my legs to reattach. No, I rub a health kit on my balls and return to life. Basically it’s a shooter like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D, the golden age of shooters, and as such it’s fucking awesome. I’m a quarter of the way through without even a hint of a plot more than: aliens are here, blow them up. But what more do you want from Serious Sam? It’s so fucking fast paced I nearly had an epileptic fit, while playing Modern Warfare 3 causes me to have a NARCOLEPTIC FIT (OH SNAP). Not to mention this is an insanely fun co-op game; John and I could play for hours on end, running at close to the speed of sound while blasting Kamikaze’s with shotguns never ever loses its charm and fun. Basically, if you long for a return to the great days of shooters, play this now, and if you DON’T have a longing to return to the golden age of shooters, play this anyway, and you’ll see how fucking stupid you are.

5.Total War: Shogun 2

Dan: Total War is for the most part, a good game series. The strategy is almost unmatched, and the mix of RTS and TBS feels perfect. Unfortunately a lot of the recent titles have been a pile of shite marinated in piss. Empire and Napoleon were set in the most boring period to set games in ever. You watch squads of musketmen slowly walk up to the enemy, fire then take 15 seconds to reload then YERARRH. Watching this is normally more boring than watching paint dry and at least paint serves some purpose, Empire’s only purpose was to fuck up as many aspects of the series as possible But Shogun 2 takes the series back to its much better roots. Large (yet samey) units of racist Japanese people (the angry eye ones) charge at each other ferociously, and the new graphics make it more satisfying as ever. Shogun 2 is a very good strategy game; while still not as good as the exceptional Medieval 2 it still has the same style of great battles. The AI is also no longer pathetic. ANECDOTE TIME: One time a few years ago while play arguably the shittest expansion pack in Total War History, Rome Total War: Alexander, Alexander was trapped in a city under attack by Persians who vastly outnumbered him. I thought I’d try to get him an honourable death so I could be defeated in style. But after one wave of enemies the Persians just stopped attacking and started repositioning their army again and again, meaning I could just sit there peppering them with arrows and win the battle. There’s none of that anymore, I’ve lost count of the amount of times the great AI has taken all of my provinces within the first 4 turns. Unfortunately this game still has hints of the monumentally awful Napoleon before it laced throughout, such as attrition. It just goes to show you should never stop fucking that one awesome prostitute (Romeo Med-two) by moving onto another (Napolempire) to see if the experience is good. Most probably it will be shit and even if you go back that first prostitute won’t feel the same and you’ll still have chlamydia from the second dirty prostitute, hence Shogun 2. Very good, but poisoned by its shit predecessors.

John: God that analogy was strange and long winded, just like how long it takes to lead this game. Seriously, it would be quicker to paint the Sistine chapel in semen than to load this game. Still good though.

4. Portal 2

John: Well we have another game in the Half-Life universe, it's just a shame it isn't Half Life 2 Episode 3... In fact, no it's not just a shame, it almost made me slam an ice pick into my brain. But that's enough of that, and let's get back onto Portal 2. I know already I was one of the 0.01% of creatures who didn't think the original game was this revolutionary masterpiece, and the only other thing that thought that was probably a brain dead slug who is addicted to crack. It was a good game, but I was too busy playing the much better game of Half Life 2 Episode 2 like any sane person should have done.

However Portal 2 was an extremely good game, like all Valve game are. The story was excellent, and the puzzles where more puzzling than something which is very puzzling. They kept you thinking for hours (well about 10 minutes) until you finally felt success when you managed to complete it. The game had an extremely good (but cliché) story, which is like a marijuana cake having money inside of it, and the humour was amazing, well other than Glados, who's humour seemed to be that of a depressed undertaker, and Wheatley, played by Stephen Merchant doing his best impressions of somebody who's mother drunk a few too many pints when he was a foetus, he started getting annoying eventually.

The game has the re-playability of dying, even in its excellent co-op mode, which is extremely fun to play with an acquaintance (because, as I have stated repeatedly, I'm less likable than a Robot Hitler spreading leukaemia, so have no friends) and can lead to many laughs while you are trying to figure out the solutions to problems, or just pissing about.

Dan: So then: Portal 2, very much the sequel to Portal 1, and a very good game. Portal 1 was good, but it is not totally flawless and DOES NOT deserve all of the praise it got as “the best game ever”. I think a lot of it was due to Yahtzee, you bastard! I don’t care how funny you are, Portal wasn’t great and if you think so you must be stupid. So anyway, one of the redeeming qualities of Portal was its humour, and it’s very much back here. A lot of (particularly Wheatley’s) lines made me laugh a lot, but it’s GLaDoS that disappointed me the most. She is NOT funny at ALL any MORE. All her jokes are basically “you killed me, that was mean”, with different spins on that. The game seriously overstays its welcome too; it’s like a tramp you gave a pound to following you around the shops all day desperately seeking more. Near the beginning I was having a lot of fun with some of the new features so the game said “Oh! Then I guess you won’t mind if I drag everything out for 20 chambers?” The amount of repetition is startling, but it’s forgiven by me because the puzzles are genuinely challenging this bloody time. The first 16 puzzles in Portal (there were only 19 for fucks’ sake) were pathetic, and wouldn’t challenge a foetus whose head had been squashed by super compressed stupid. Portal 2 in comparison is very hard particularly near the end and the humour from Wheatley and Cave Johnson is great. This combined with the aforementioned new gameplay tweaks makes Portal 2 a fantastic sequel to a good, overrated game.

3. Orcs must Die

Dan: Orcs Must Die is the best Indie game I’ve played in a while (if not the best ever), but that’s partly because I naively stay clear from Indie titles until people say they’re excellent, because most are worse than a snake with rusty nails for fangs. Orcs Must Die continued this trend, after it received critical acclaim. It was on the Steam sale and I bought it and instantly it jumped up and down on any scepticism I had, and devoured any remains when I unlocked the extraordinarily satisfying wall trap that minced Orcs up into bloody pieces. This game sealed the number 3 spot when I got a catapult trap that launched Orcs into lava and acid pits. There are a few reasons this game didn’t get higher, one being it isn’t as substantial as the top 2, and it’s less substantial than Modern Warfare 3 (just) and it’s higher because MW3 sucked rat fur while this kicks so much arse that a shoe imprint is now a genetic disorder. You play some smug wanker, basically the equivalent of Merlin as a frat boy, but this is entirely forgotten around the time 20 Orcs are mashed into chunks while I scream with laughter. This basically is what games are at their core: fun. It doesn’t need a great story like Half Life, or gameplay overwhelmingly varied like Deus Ex, it just needs the genocide of the entire Orc race. The Orcs are all bafflingly cute, and never seem like much of a threat. They all sound like the clever gangster’s sidekick called Chug or Mugsy or something, who sounded like they learning to talk while voice acting. All in all Orcs Must Die is ridiculously fun, and the perfect thing to wind down to after a stressful day at work. Plus it’s cheap.

John: This was easily my surprise game of the year. I don't usually like arrow traps as they get more boring as you go along until the only way you can alleviate yourself from boredom is to watch dying grass grow. Orcs must Die however, is an exception to this. It is probably one of the most enjoyable games you will ever play ever and rightfully received acclaim and blow jobs off almost every reviewer.

If you want an indication of how fun this game is, just think, it managed to get higher than Serious Sam 3 on this list for that fact alone. The only main point of the game is for you to set up cunningly violent trap combinations to see how you can commit fantasy genocide on more Orcs than a Lord of the Rings convention. You can crush them, shoot at them, set them on fire, and then just catapult them back into the traps to see if they can get through the toughest obstacle course ever again. Your choice in traps is almost limitless, short of just nuking all the orcs.

The only real problems are the lack of multiplayer, as playing this game in multiplayer would be possibly one of the most enjoyable experiences I could think of, and the other problem is thatsome of the enemies are ridiculously overpowered. But that doesn't matter as it is hilariously fun and cheap anyway.

2. Deus Ex Human Revolution

John: You know what, when I first played this game, I thought, this will easily be the game of the year, nothing could compete with how great this is. I was later proved long as you can see in a minute if you read on, but that is a testament to rival those in the bible to show how good this game is.

I myself didn't think this would be a good game, the original is one of my favourite games of all time, and after Invisible War my hopes weren't high, however I was proved wrong and enjoyed this game. The ability to go into any mission in whatever way you want is great, you could just go in all guns blazing like a Bi-polar bank robber, or you can sneak in and take out the enemy non violently like a pacifist rapist to name just a few.

The story itself is amazing, and the bet I have seen from any game in a long time, introducing Adam Jensen, the man who seems to drink a glass of gravel every morning, as he tries to fight through a conspiracy bigger than what the secret ingredient for McDonalds is (hint, it's probably Chicken penis.) This is because it turns out he is a less competent security than Kermit the Frog, so allows every scientist in the facility to get massacred with the ease of slicing butter.

Then you have the large open world hub zones, with more to explore than a Temple of Treasures, and a lot of different side quests to take part in. These zones are extremely detailed and help flesh out the game world and make it seem more real. You even get experience for exploring these like Jensen is training to become a mouse. The world is also extremely complex with its politics, as you would expect from a Deus Ex game, with fighting between the Anti-Augs and the people for it.

Some of the Augmentations are amazing (for example the typhoon which allows you to fire grenades from out of your arse) and add a lot to the way you want to play the game in its early parts. Many can be very fun to use, however some give an extremely annoying cut scene every time you perform them , such as the Icarus landing system, but this doesn't stop them from being enjoyable to use. They also make you feel like you are actually superhuman, which is how augments should make you feel in a Deus Ex game.

Also the game brings back inventory Tetris, which is a great addition for the game if your nostalgic, like me.

I assume though, that I will have to talk about the criticisms of the game , for example the fact that you can get every augmentation possible by the end of the game, not varying the combat at all, and turning it just a little stale. Another is the inclusion of the boss battles, which in the original you could perform in any which way you want, from shooting them, to sneaking past them, to offering them sexual favours to advance to the next point. In this game however you just have to fight some a few guys who pop up like there the Spanish Inquisition which nobody expected and proceed to beat the crap out of Jensen even if he has become superhuman. The options for these guys are shoot or die (which happens a lot), which becomes very boring, very quickly. And the last boss isn't even a boss, more a target to shoot at.

I won't even talk about the fact that Adam Jensen has lost the ability to punch somebody, so instead you get a jarringly placed animation which could be replaced with a Glenn Beck sex scene for how well they are placed in. However all these reasons shouldn't put you off this amazing game, which you should all play unless you want me to take you around the back and shoot you through the back of the head.

Dan: Having only THIS YEAR played Deus Ex 1 and liked it a lot, I was looking forward to this being released. Then I realised that it’d already been out for about a month, so I found it cheap and bought it. I did a pretty in-depth review of all the pillars of gameplay, and what I like most about it is it mixes some of the good parts of modern action games (nice graphics, a particularly vibrant colour palette, good stealth) and mixed it perfectly with the element of choice from the first game, which let you play anyway you wanted. You could be a stealthy sniper who uses his silenced rifle to eliminate resistance then pick his way through, or you could just go balls to the wall and use a flame thrower to turn the NSF into a tasty snack. Human Revolution emulates this perfectly, and the story is almost as engaging and brilliant as the first. It definitely has the best story in any shooter this year, it’s also the best Shooter this year. That is, if you count it as a shooter. Personally I count it as an Action-RPG, but IGN class it as a shooter so there you fucking go, bitch. So then: criticisms. The boss fights is a nice juicy one, but that’s been ripped to pieces by every single critic ever, so I’ll just say that it surgically removes the element of choice in favour of chucking in some fuckwit we’ve never heard anything about. Fortunately I’ve heard the boss fight in the Missing Link DlC is much improved, so you can get that and shut the fuck up. Another one is the omission of melee weapons and instead just has stupid half-baked animation that blow you out of the experience like a hosepipe on overload, but you need never use this. All these critiques are nit-picks, so just ignore them and play the bloody game, because it’s great.

John: And now for the number 1 game, which should be obvious, as your all cheating scum who read what it was before reading this sentence, and so are all going to hell.

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Dan: To repeat myself YET AGAIN, Skyrim is the best RPG I’ve ever played. Oh for fucks’ sake, I can’t think of anything to say that I haven’t said before, so see the review we did for Christmas if you want the full opinion. To show you why this is the best game of the year I’ll quickly tell a little story: Buttbeard, my Bosmer assassin, had just got a quest to assassinate a bandit leader in a fort, so I rode there on my horse. After entering the fort I went into sneak mode and got behind my target, after backstabbing a lot of his mates. Unfortunately, he was surrounded by more enemies than he would be if he was at a mass bandit reunion. So I equipped the Dragon Shout “throw voice”, which would make enemies think they heard the shout from the other side of the room. They immediately began to walk over that way, giving my time to sneak behind my target and slash his throat. No one noticed, and I escaped into the daylight. And then I heard it. The Dragon. One of the best pieces on the Skyrim soundtrack kicked in and I thought “let’s go motherfucker”. The bandits in the fort I hadn’t cleared out began to attack the dragon, firing arrows at it and being incinerated. Then the Dragon turned to me. I smiled, activated my power and became a werewolf. Grinning to myself, I charged out of reach of the dragon’s fire breath, and devoured the dead bandits’ corpses, giving me longer as a werewolf. I turned, and charged the dragon. My mighty claws quickly ripped the dragon apart, and its soul went directly into me, unlocking second stage fire breath, while I laugh. You see, none of that is scripted. It only happened in my play through, and will not happen to you (John: Correction, that basically happened to me, except I didn't turn into a werewolf, because it is pointless). But that’s fine, because something equally as thrilling will happen in your playthrough, and I can never get that. And that, people, is why Skyrim is the best game of the year. It’s fucking awesome.

John: Nothing much to say about it other than what he just said really, it is an extremely amazing game where you can all go and create your own adventures. It is not as good as Morrowind, but better than Oblivion by a large gap.

John: So there we go, an end to another year which has gone faster than a man with premature ejaculation. There were quite a lot of disagreements while working on this, the main one being if Team Fortress 2 should count, as even though it wasn't released this year, it was made Free to play, so just to say, if we did count it, it would have blow everything else away. Now go enjoy your New Year you bastards and we'll be back then.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Special Christmas Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim!

John: Oh Skyrim. Oh Skyrim, Oh Skyrim, Oh Skyrim. Finally an Elder Scrolls game which can stand tall and proud alongside the great game of Morrowind. There are no words to describe how much I enjoy this game, other than imagining a truck load of naked woman and money. It feels like an almost real world, which you can explore while other people go on along with their daily lives. However as this is such an extensive RPG we have run into many problems on how to review it, so instead we will write many subsections on different parts of the game and give our views on them.

Dan: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the best RPG I’ve ever played. The amount of choices in character levelling alone is astounding; it allows me to build an assassin who can silently roll behind his mark, cut their throat and dissipate into nothingness before the unfortunate fellow’s mates can do anything more than stare at his body. I can sprint and jump off a cliff, land in a river and blast a dragon flying over head with lightning. I can use my Unrelenting Force shout to use a massive force of wind to make Imperial soldiers sail over entire forts. I can listen to guards tell me about how they took arrows in the knee. I could literally go on for pages and pages, describing the quests and situations the almost immaculate Skyrim allows you to do and get into.

John: Anybody who says this game is best RPG ever is an idiot and deserves to be immolated after having his balls doused in petrol. It is not as good as Morrowind, no matter how close it comes and retarded people believe it is. However that doesn't mean it's not the best RPG I've played in the past 5 or 6 years, the only other one which can even come close in The Witcher 2 (I am not classing Deus Ex: HR as an RPG for this comparison ok... Got that), but Skyrim easily outshines that. Now on with the review.

Main Story

John: So Skyrim is the 5th game in the Elder Scrolls series, and not Oblivion 2 as some idiots believe. If anybody thinks that, I want them shot in the head with a laser rifle controlled by a rabid dog. The story revolves around a giant Dragon named Alduin coming back during the time of a huge civil war in Skyrim and subsequently reviving a load of other Dragons. So as Dovakhiin you have to go stop them by shouting at them like you're a character from any British soap.
I still haven't finished the main story because I kept getting distracted, however from nearly finishing it, it seemed extremely short and boring, which is why I was distracted, and also very strange for any game which includes dragons. However who plays an Elder Scrolls game for the story in all honesty. Also has some pretty good looking parts in it, just not as good as everything else.

Dan: The Main Quest of Skyrim is, unfortunately, a let-down. That’s not to say it’s not good: in some cases it feels spectacular, the first dragon fight near Whiterun is great. The way the dragon swoops and breathes flame on you as you desperately take cover in the tower, and how you charge forward and start hacking at its head looks and feels amazing. The problem was this: the next dragon fight had me running away from a flying lizard that was breathing fire on me as it swooped over then I charged and starting hacking at its head. And the same thing for the next one. And the next. The dragon fights do get very repetitive, but they ALWAYS stay rewarding. I can sit through Generic Dragon Fight #37 if it means I can use its soul to turn enemies to ice. The story (I haven’t actually finished it yet) is… well it’s good, I guess. The Main Quest has some great moments, as I say, but also some really irritating ones, mainly the one in the Thalmor embassy where they seem to either spot you from 200 yards away or block every door you need to get through, meaning stealth is almost impossible (so I was buggered).

The Civil War

John: The Civil war is possibly my favourite part of the game, fighting off many of those Imperial bastards to free Skyrim for the Nords (Yes I'm a Stormcloak.) Some of my favourite moments have been attacking forts and the cities of [redacted] with my Stormcloak allies to get Ulfric Stormcloak on the throne. (No I don't care if they are more racist than an angry Nick Griffin)

Dan: The Civil War that ties sort of into the backstory and a bit of the Main Quest feels a lot more rewarding and satisfying. In Oblivion the great battle for Tamriel was fought with about 12 soldiers in a small clearing. This is the gaming equivalent of going to watch the Lord of the Rings to find out it’s the pacifist version. In Skyrim the battles even stretch across cities, with catapults that do fuck all firing flaming rocks that do fuck all. I can Fus Ro Dah people off the walls while I decapitate an Empire prick in front of me. Anyway, I’ve gone on too long about that, so I’ll summarise the Main Quest/Story. The Main Quest is good, if underwhelming and repetitive, and the quests about the Civil War are, although not the main quest, excellent and tie in to the Main Story nicely.

Dragons

John: The Dragons themselves are pretty damned cool for the first few times you see them, however later in the game with good armour they just become a nuisance, as if you were being attacked by a very angry dust mite. And the fact that the game seems to throw them at you every 5 seconds just leaves you feeling disappointed. However no matter how many times you fight them, they are always, always more interesting than the fucking Oblivion Gates, however even if they had been replaced with some guy poking a needle in your eye they would have been less irritating.

The World
(Caution, this is me basically wanking over the world design)

John: My god the world is beautiful. It appears to have been forged by God himself. This is one thing I believe it does better than Morrowind. The amazing looking rivers, the awe inspiring mountains which form the skyline of the province, the wonderfully built cities. It's all amazing. It's not the most graphically advanced game I've played, but the detail, the detail must have been created by Vincent Van Gogh while high. Each city has its own style, its own personality, where the people go about their daily lives as if this was real.

It is easily the best part of the game, just exploring the word to see what you can find is endlessly enjoyable to take part in.

Dan: The world of Skyrim is vast, and you can literally keep playing forever, apparently. The Radiant Story system keeps generating quests for you, even though these are utterly generic and dull as fuck. It’s like being promised cocaine for the rest of your life then about a year in it’s switched to Coca Cola (ATTENTION: The Rofling Officer and John Smith definitely do NOT advocate the use of Cocaine, if you use such drugs please snort them so hard they enter your brain and you turn to mush you loser, thank you). Skyrim’s world is magnificent, glorious, incredible, unimaginable, and now I’m starting to run out of synonyms, but the point stands. Skyrim is so dense, so rich, so detailed, that everything like a Dungeon has its own backstory. I enter one and a ghost tells me to leave, but then I discover it’s not a ghost at all, but some wanker pretending to be one. I enter another, and another, real, ghost helps me proceed so he can take revenge on a Draugr called Olaf One-Eye. The cities are generally brilliant; Solitude sits atop a cliff looking gracefully down at the frozen sea, Whiterun lies in the middle of the tundra where giants herd their mammoths, and Windhelm is in the frozen, snowy north and has Jack the Ripper. Saying that, one city (Markarth) is SHIT, it looks awful, all the NPCs are hollow and have the same character trait and the design of the city is fucked up.
John: He is right, Markath is shit. Staying there is like applying to have a nail through the foot.

Dungeons

John: The dungeons are, for a start much better than Oblivions, which made me want to endlessly slam a hammer down onto my head due to how boring they were. However they are also nowhere near as huge as the ones in Daggerfall, which is actually a relief. The ones in Skyrim are extremely linear, and also some seem very similar, however they are varied enough to not get boring, and the stories in some of them are very intriguing. They do feel like they have been designed by a man with a fetish for long corridors though, and I hate that.

The Dark Brotherhood

Dan: The Dark Brotherhood quests of Oblivion were my favourite part of the game, as being an assassin is a route I always take in games like this. But now in Skyrim my choices were so open and great that I could stealthily roll behind my target, slash him with my daggers, doing 30x normal damage then disappear into the shadows as the targets bodyguards turn around. This is around 13 times as fun as Oblivion. Saying that the actual quests themselves are a little disappointing; they all feel like just one LOOOONG quest leading up to the target that I stopped caring about 3 quests ago. And even that isn’t that hard as you can just hack your way through everyone as they’re sailors and have no armour and are stupid. I was expecting this to be an ultra-hard test of my sneak skills, to help me appreciate all I’d learned like the last quest for the Thieves Guild in Oblivion. Don’t take this to mean that I didn’t LIKE the Dark Brotherhood quests, overall they all feel great and have some very satisfying moments that I could (and will) do again and again, but it just doesn’t feel that climactic.

The Companions
[Kind of/not really spoilers here for the Companions quests, you should be safe]

John: As the character I usually play as is some sort of stealthy warrior who is also a duel wielding badass, I felt that the guilds which seemed to fit me the most where the Dark Brotherhood (the only good part of Oblivion) and the Companions. At first the companions quests seemed extremely boring, involving the same collect an item shit that spreads through RPGS like the plague... or an STD. However half way through the quests, when you become a werewolf, it suddenly becomes a whole lot more fun. Your attacking strongholds of wolf hunters, hunting down the remaining organisation in revenge missions. It even becomes a little sad near the end after the Silver Hand assault Jorrvaskr. This all lead up to one of my favourite final quests of any organisation as you journey through Ysgramor's tomb.
Put it this way, I liked the companions so much I married Aela... Also that leaves me thinking, does marrying an NPC who just happens to be a werewolf, BUT you only see them as a wolf once, mean your into bestiality. What about if your also a wolf?

Bards College

John: Fucking, fucking terrible. I would rather have my balls pierced by a boiling hot spike than have to sit through this crap again.

Thieves Guild and Mages College

John: Haven't done much of these really and neither has Dan.

Marriage

The marriage in the game does at first seem pretty pointless as all it means is that you can have a meal cooked for you. However if you think about it, this is a role playing game, and add a lot to the immersion in the game. But then again if you enjoy immersion in a game "you're probably less popular than Hitler dancing on the graves of puppy's who have died from leukaemia" - Some retarded person.

Other Bad Points

John: The game was almost certainly not ready for it's release date, it was filled to the brim with bugs. It was and still is more buggy than a termite mound, with countless crashes to desktop for me, like a blind person driving a Ferrari. And (as I play on the PC as i'm part of some master race) the UI was, and still is dreadful, it was as if they had a 3 year old without a brain to create it. Somehow it was even worse than Oblivion's. Yes there are mods to fix it, but it is dissapointing nonetheless, no matter how much I love this game.

Conclusion

John: Even if you do somehow get bored of this game, just remember, mod tools will be released in January, so people will be creating new stories for this game for years. (And if you're not on PC, always remember Bethesda's own DLC, no don't shudder, it's not horse armour, and they have vowed to be releasing huge content in these, my bet, something about the Thalmor.)

Dan: In conclusion, YES SKYRIM IS THE BEST RPG I’VE EVER PLAYED SHUT UP, and it takes my game of the year slot. I can tell I’m going to be playing this excellent game for years and years, just like I did with Oblivion, the difference being this one is far better. There are a few let downs (which include a LOT of hilarious and game breaking bugs which we haven’t really touched on), but overall The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a wonderful RPG, and the only one I’ve played that lets me customise my character’s play style to the point of absurdity. A massive step up from Oblivion, and also a massive one from Fallout 3, but that was shit anyway.

John: In conclusion, it is not the best RPG ever, but it is certainly the game of the year and is amazing, so if you don't play it you deserve to be raped by a pig, or due to Darwin's theory, killed in the name of natural selection.

Both: So have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season from us guys, and just remember FUS RO DAH!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Alan's Amazing Action Adventure, Days 1 and 2

Day 1!

With his round, bald head that makes him look hilariously like Karl Pilkington, and dressed in rags that even cockroaches would think twice about wiping their arses with it, Alan stepped into Riverwood. He strode confidently towards the blacksmith, Alvor who is incredibly fucking protective of his ingots. I asked Alvor what he has for sale, and he replied "some may call this junk, me I call them treasures". I don't know what kind of person would consider weapons and armour as junk OR treasures without getting a slap, but there you go. I was disheartened to see Alan only had 9 septims on him. If I was to be a blacksmith some day, I'd need money. As I walk down the stairs a woman called Gerdur (who's name sounds like she's helping to keep buildings up) rudely shouts in my face about how some guy called "Hod" is offering work at the mill.

Hod however, is not at the mill at all. In fact he's sat at home the lazy prick. He orders me to cut firewood up for him. It's better than nothing. So Alan walks over to a tree stump and sets to work cutting wood with his hands (the animation for cutting wood without an axe looks a lot like you're wanking off an invisible giant). Shirking this off as a bug, Alan turns to his left and nonchalantly takes the woodcutter's axe that some elf was about to take. While Alan gathers wood, the elf whinges to me about how Sven is stealing his bitch. I felt like saying to him his triangular head would put off any female, human or beast, but Alan just keeps on chopping. Soon I have 12 firewood, and I walk with Faendal back to Hod. He gives me only 60 bloody septims for the firewood, the stingey cunt. It's past noon by now, so I sit next to some ancient woman with a hat that makes her look Amish, who was shouting before about seeing a dragon. No idea what she's talking about. Must be insane.

I realise I haven't actually got any food yet, so I walk into Riverwood Traders to find two siblings bitching at each other. Suddenly I feel like I'm watching Eastenders, except it's a little more cheerier than that. I shut them up by talking to the bloke, Lucan. After noticing and sniggering that I have 69 septims, I decide to splurge and buy myself a cabbage for lunch. But before eating this one, juicy, delicious cabbage, I see a cooking pot behind me and I buy some salt and potatoes, bringing my bill up to 18 septims. Alan cooks up some lovely potato and cabbage soup and I walk outside, meeting Faendal near my chopping block. I have an instant lunch and, while we're on a lunch break (well at least I am, Faendal just seemed to be leaning on a table the entire time).

It's then I realise... I want to be Faendal. His bow is used to hunt, his axe to chop wood. I want him as a friend, so immediately ask him what the deal is with this girl he's after. He mentions something about how a bard called Sven is trying to steal her from him, and to deliver this fake letter to her, which he stuffs down my shirt. The fake letter is to be delivered to Camilla and told its from Sven, and since the letter contains bullshit about how she's a bitch (I didn't actually read it), she'll stop seeing Sven.

I decide to talk to Sven first to see if he is a wanker or not, and after showing him the letter he gives me a new one. At this point I realise while they're both bastards, Faendal is more of a badass. So I gently tell Camilla that Sven forged this letter, she doesn't really seem bothered, but tells me to talk to Faendal. By this point it's around 2pm, so I decide to get a move on cutting wood. I bump into Faendal who thanks me for convincing Camilla and says if I never need his help it's cool. So I deviously get him to cut wood at the same time as me, doubling my productivity. Even more deviously, I got him to give me his bow and arrows to hunt deer and wolves with.

After Faendal and I get our wood together I get 120 septims out of it which is cool. Time to work on my Smithing career.

I returned to Alvor the blacksmith, and under his instruction I made and tempered an iron dagger and a hide helmet, which will both be useful out hunting. For the rest of the afternoon Alan bought iron ingots from Alvor, and created armour from it, which he then sold back to Alvor for profitz. The time had reached 6:30pm, so I hit the inn.

Once there I met a drunk called Embry, who was being refused another drink. In a spontaneous move, I bought him some ale. Fight the power! He called me his "favourite drinkin' buddy", which warmed my heart considerably. On the other hand maybe it was just because I was standing in the fire. The barman bluntly told me that he cooks, which I laughed at then bought some mead and food. After I sat down and started to eat my apple pie, Sven came in and I asked him to sing Ragnar the Red, my favourite song. By the time I'd drunk 5 tankards of mead with Embry, it was 10pm, so after paying 10 septims for a room, Alan collapsed into bed. It had been an incredibly eventful day, for an NPC.

Day 2!

I rose from the inn just before 6 in the morning to join the hunt. As I set out I had visions of a Karl Pilkington figure walking and hunting like Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings, which was funny. I ran down the road and across the bridge, as I immediately spotted a deer on the other side of the river. Alan crouched and shot an arrow into the deer. Double damage! But the deer just ran away and a couple of wolves pounced on me. Could this be the end of Alan?

I quickly pulled my iron dagger out of my arse and swiped at the wolves. They died quickly, and I instantly skinned them. I shot at an elk, which took quite a bit of damage, but start to run away. I chased it, dagger out, and finally brought it down. I skinned it and stole it's meat, at which point Alan takes a swipe in the back. A bear! I backpedal, firing arrows wildly. Eventually a figure clad in chainmail with a donkey helmet on charged and slew the beast. My saviour! Turns out I had beckpedalled all the way to Whiterun, and I now stood in the tundra around the city. I triumphantly joined the road again and strode towards Whiterun.

As far ahead as the draw distance would allow I saw a giant engaging some tiny people down below. I was too scared to help, so I just watched. The giant fell however, and the woman there called me a coward and said she was a companion. I have no interest in joining the companions; I heard they send you on adventures. The time was nearing 11am, so I had to get a move on with the hunt.

I shot and stabbed another two deer, and got attacked by another wolf. Laden with pelts, I began the journey back to Whiterun, where I could rent a room in the inn. Along the way a thief ran towards me and asked for all my money. I had none, so I tried to persuade him of that. He was having none of it, and chased me back to the Whiterun stable. I hoped that the guards would do something other than tell me about how they took arrows in the knee, but they just watched as a hooded man tried to brutally beat me to death. I did it in self defence. Alan killed a man. I was so disgusted with myself for killing another NPC that I looted his body and left him on the side of the road.

By now it was past dinner time so I stuffed some raw venison into my mouth and entered Whiterun. I saw the blacksmith next to me, so I made my pelts into leather, which I made some actual armour from. Now Alan is a fine sight: Karl Pilkington in leather armour with a hunting bow. I still dress normally around town, as any good NPC would.

After spending the afternoon selling all the meat and leather I could spare and crafting some armour, I decided to hit the market proper. There was a crazy old woman selling maces and jewelry, and a place called the Drunken Huntsman. Mistaking it for a inn to get hammered in, I entered. And found it was a place that sold bows as WELL as a bar. Someone offered to fight me, which I refused. I'm not that type of person. At least Alan isn't. I went back to the market, and found a pretty thing by the name of Carlotta Valentia. She asked me to sort out some creepy bard who kept coming onto her in extremely rape-y sounding ways. I agreed. What's the worst that could happen?

I entered the local inn and reserved a room for the night, then bought some mead. The local bard was better than the one in Riverwood, I got him to sing the Age of Agression. I don't really support the Imperials, but it's a nice enough song. Then I remembered that the bard was Mikael, the bloke who's been bothering my lovely. Before I know it, Alan's only option to deal with him is a brawl. I can't back out now...

The punches fly thick and fast, while the people in the inn cheer and scream. Eventually, however unlikely this seems, I win. One final punch from Alan sends Mikael to his knees and he agrees to stop bothering Carolotta. Success!

An unintentional hero, Alan hits the hay.

New Skyrim-themed Series

Hey,

My and John have been reading this blog recently called Livin' in Oblivion, which I really recommend checking. It's really funny. It's about a guy who makes an Oblivion character who can't run, can't go on any adventures and has do normal jobs like gathering herbs. He basically makes an NPC. The blog follows this bloke, Nondrick, as he goes on a load of non-adventures. I thought it'd be funny to try in Skyrim to see if the experience is that much more engrossing than it already is (more on Skyrim in a special Christmas Eve review).

My character, the courageously named "Alan", is a Nord who has just arrived in Riverwood with an iron dagger, 9 septims (gold) and a shirt and some shoes. Can he make it big in the wide world of Skyrim?

There are a few rules: no reloading a save. Just like Lydia, if Alan dies then that's it. NO fast travel, but carriages are OK. Unless he is hunting, fighting or fleeing, Alan walks everywhere, no matter how tedious that gets (and believe me, watching a 4 hour special of paint drying seems like the Lord of the Rings compared to walking across a province. Also he has to eat reguarly and sleep. And above all, Alan cannot go on any quests, other than something like helping out a blacksmith make a dagger. You don't see any NPCs raiding Dwarven Ruins for treasure. My final aim of Alan is for him to land the 25,000 septim house in Solitude and get a wife (or husband. Just sayin').

But before he can do that, he needs to work up a little cash by doing NPC jobs. The next post will be about his first 2 days in Skyrim. Other blog posts about this probably won't be regular, as I'll need to slaughter a few thousand beasts in an underground cave to get at least a little escapism with my other character.

OK, time to write it up...

Monday, 28 November 2011

Gamers Attention!

All gamers out there, you need to check this hilarious story on the Daily Mail. At first it made me delete the Mail app off my iPod, but now I find it hilarious.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2066803/Violent-video-games-DO-make-people-aggressive.html

Saturday, 26 November 2011

News: Podcast, Commentaries, Reviews.

OK, I've just read back through the blog and saw I promised that a podcast from me and John was on the way soon... that was a month ago.

John and I did record our scathing and tedious naval battle in Empire Total War where we played and ripped it apart but the problem was we kept thinking of funny things to say after we'd done it, so this time we're going to plan ahead and write some stuff down.

In podcast news, we're planning it out, including thinking of features and topics. No set date as of yet, because there are very little opportunities for us to record.

On my reviews on this blog, I'm planning a skyrim review (which will be ages away as it's so huge) as well as a short portal 2 (which i got on sale) and King Arthur (which I got for free in PC Gamer).

So you can look forward to those, and maybe a commentary on the co-op of portal 2, and an empire total war land battle - lucky you.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collab.

Dan: Another year, another map pack. Except a bit bigger this time. Modern Warfare 3 is fucking fucking fucking awful, the worst game I have played this year. It took everything that Black Ops changed about the CoD formula (admittedly not much) and destroyed it, instead releasing Modern Warfare 2 again. The Multiplayer is identical, the campaign is barely interactive, too short, has a ridiculous and retarded story and is as boring as ever.

Without further ado:

Campaign!

Dan: I thought arcade rail-shooters were a thing of the past, but they make a full return here in Modern Warfare 3. Every move you make (every breath you take... sorry) is scrutinised by the game before you can do it, and 9/10 they'll refuse to let it happen. Say I want to scout ahead of my squad to check the enemy positions, if I go too far ahead of them, I'll fail the mission. I can't open doors, so I can't flank enemies and so on. Not to mention how the game falls ill to the Black Ops problem of being designed by a 5 year old playing with his toy soldiers. Everything on screen explodes at some point, and whenever something isn't exploding it's building up to something exploding. Every section I played (controlling a drone, manning a minigun) all started with an actor half-heartedly saying: "Yuri! Get on tha' minigun!", and ended with it exploding and blood splashing onto my eyes like I've got sunglasses on. The shooting hasn't changed at all, there are no good changes to note really, except maybe Strike Packages, but that's for the multiplayer segment.

The story is 69 kinds of oral sex, that is to say shit. It feels like they interviewed an 8 year old with what his perfect story would be with loads of explosions and deaths and things falling over (it'd be alright if people cared, but when the Eiffel Tower falls over no one gives a shit), then animated the notes. It's both ludicrous and incredibly basic. There are no plot twists at all, it'd be like building up to a titanic boss fight and then he just slips on a stone and dies (which is almost what happened in Fable 2). I could forgive almost all of this, all of it, IF THE GAME HADN'T RECYCLED SET PIECES FROM PAST GAMES. That's the unforgivable part. The favela level is copy and pasted here twice, and then theres Gulag 2: A Castle This Time.

I think Modern Warfare 3 is the unholy offspring of arrogance and laziness. Infinity Ward have become cocky... cocks. They think just releasing the identical game again and again, year in year out, is acceptable. Well it fucking isn't. Yet another thing that annoys me about this game is that it's selling millions upon millions of copies, encouraging Infinity Ward and Treyarch to just rinse and repeat with Call of Duty. Imagine if that spreads to Valve like an STD in a brothel, soon Team Fortress 3 will be released but is a cover shooter with realistic graphics and you have to pay £12 for a handful of maps ARRRGGGHGGHAG{ O@GAUEGUKGEFILYGAYG!YILG!O@!GHGAFO!

Now then, rage from me over, John's turn:

John: The story of Modern Warfare 3 appears to have been written by George Bush if he had ADD, it jumps around more than a frog with a stick up its arse, and there are more explosions than a firework factory run by Bomberman. The story starts in India before inexplicably jumping to America, and then back to India, and then to Russia and then to Sierra Leone and then to London and then to Germany and then to Somalia and then to Paris and then to Russia and then to Dubai... God that list is less tedious to read than playing the damn game and probably more interactive as well. The story is Russia invade the world (and by world I mean America), you stop them, then some Russian guy you hate because he refused to share sweets when you where kids tries to blow up the world... Explosion. That's the background of the whole story. Then you and Phileas Fogg go on a trip to kill him, who at this point is probably twirling his moustache and laughing manically

It's obvious their trying to give a "realistic" impression of war, but this is only realistic if war was a rollercoaster designed by Michael Bay. At one bit, the Eiffel Tower collapses, the characters are so nonchalant about it, I think if the world had blown up, they wouldn't bat an eyelid. It is at that point I decided the game had gone from shit to being a huge sign saying "FREE CHOCOLATE FROM LOOKING AT THESE EXPLOSIONS!!! BOOM, EXPLOSIONS ARE COOL!!" The game appears to have been created from levels trying to outdo the last for explosions and Magnostruction (a combination of Magnitude and destruction... Making up words is fun.) In all honesty, these explosions look shit anyway, especially considering that the engine was probably created from sticking a paperclip in some bluetack.

Then you have the points where it becomes a movie, and by those points I mean the whole game. The amount of times it takes control away from you is astonishing; I'm playing a game not watching Team America. But even if you do get control of your character, it doesn't stop the lack of control. I can't even open doors on my own for Christ sake. I only have 4 explanations for this, 1. My characters actually been lobotomised and forgotten how to use a door handle, 2. My character is so low in rank if he dares open a door he's be court-martialled and even probably shot due to treason and reasons of national security, 3.The developers are worried I would walk through a door and step into Narnia or the land of strippers and 4. The developers think we're retarded so want to hold our hands in case we get lost in their grey corridor of "fun" (and by fun I mean utter boredom.) If I was them I'd put signs over every door saying that through them are the "Chocolate Lands" or the "Unicorn and Puppy Sanctuary."

And on the subject of doors, why are they indestructible other than with the plot convenience explosive devices, which also seem to turn you into an X-Man for 10 seconds. Why aren't we making Tanks or Jets out of doors if they're so indestructible. Get on that US Military.

Now I think we should talk about "that level", you know the one where the kid dies. I don't know what the developers where trying to show at this point, but it seems more pointlessly added in than if they had a level where Captain Price is molested by a Silverback Gorilla. My reaction on that level was just to search it for anything generically British, just so Americans could actually recognise it was in London. Also this and the previous level also show how retarded the terrorists are, and how they only succeed in these attacks due to how even more Brain Dead the Special Forces are. Seriously who believes that a truck with the words "Charity International" on it are actual Charity Truck.

Now to round off my views on it. It's a boring round the world trip, with generic, guessable moments which were supposedly shocking, but failed at that due to my lack of caring about the characters, and how cliché and forced out the subsequent dialogue was.

Special Ops!

Dan: Special Ops, or Spops for short, was without doubt, the best part of Modern Warfare 2. And it was the part people took the least notice of. The missions were short and satisfying, especially playing them with a friend (which is unfortunate as I don't have any). Admittedly some missions were shit, an example being the ones with Ghillie snipers whose scopes flashed like the Paparazzi had just seen Lady Gaga's cock. But what are they like this time around?

Well, they're exactly the same. The difference between this and the situation with the Multiplayer and Campaign, is that they're still fresh enough to enjoy. The survival mode is also a step up from the incredibly monotonous Zombies mode when it takes about 15 rounds to get going and then you find out it's shit anyway. The Spops missions are pretty fun, with a nice variety of styles and objectives to complete. There are some I wanted to go stealth on but since the game is so scripted I wasn't allowed to, and every enemy in the current solar system homed in on me if I so much as blinked. So yeah, other than a few scripting issues (AGAIN!) the missions in Spec Ops are very good. Moving on...

Spec Ops survival. A better, more frantic Zombies mode to be honest. It is a good step, using Predator drones and stuff like that instead of listen to vaguely racist Russian stereotypes drink vodka while you barricade a window for the squillionth time. It still takes ages to get going, with the first five rounds basically sending about 5 men at you and patronising me to the level I wanted to play Multiplayer and get called a "n00b" by 12 year olds.

But this is all irrelevant. Even though this is the best part of the game, people don't give two yellow shits about it. It's all Multiplayer. Speaking of that...

Multiplayer!

John: The Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer is boring. All it involves is you running around, before being shot by some hacker from underneath the map while he shoves his metaphorical cock down your mouth.... Wait this is Modern Warfare 3, oh sorry, well easy mistake to make.

So other than a few changes, and by changes I mean the equivalent of somebody untying their shoelace to seem different, this is more similar to the online in (Insert any Call of Duty game here.) And as this is a Call of Duty multiplayer, it requires so little skill to play, a tree stump could do well... while blindfolded. Which to be honest is a good thing in a way, because requiring skill from the Call of Duty community would be like trying to have them explain to you what puberty is.

As this game is made using 7 year old technology, the game creaks like a lose floorboard in a haunted house, at times you feel like a lone hamster is just holding the graphics together. And then as most people will have bought this on console, you also have an aim assist helping you to kill somebody because 1. You're multiplayer character is probably augmented so can have his robot arms move the gun around, and 2. Playing shooters with a gamepad is like trying to play a racing game with your knob.

Modern Hackfest 3 has the 12 year olds that we all love, (groan) telling us that they fucked our mother last night. This seems to represent skill now a days, in the same way that Skill is also probably measured in how many times you can walk into a wall, or how many times you can stab yourself with a glass bottle.

These "highly skilled" players seem to believe that getting a high amount of kills, with a good kill to death is the ubër way of playing the game... Because you know, in team based games I always love the feeling of not being able to win due to a retarded team, it would be like having John Prescott on your football team for Christ sake. On a game mode like domination I would much rather have somebody who goes 5/10 but caps the control points often, rather than somebody who goes 20/1 but is sat at home shitting himself and crying to his mum while he does nothing for the team because he hasn't got the brain to comprehend anything other than himself.

It doesn't help that less is done to help this than is done to give Dust Mites the vote, and the support packages only helped a little, (Dan will talk about them) but the quickest way to level is to play these games in completely the wrong fashion, which is awful, it would be like the quickest way to cure an STI is to infect yourself with AIDS.

No matter what, this is still better than the Multiplayer of Black Ops, which was the equivalent of having my balls attacked by a rabid hamster. It was awful. My rant is over now, Now Daniel can explain strike packages and other crap.

Dan: Let's get one thing clear from the start: this is NOT a new multiplayer. This is a patch for Modern Warfare 2 that gives some more maps. It's a £45 map pack. There are minimal gameplay improvements, literally identical interface to Modern Warfare 2. Death streaks are back. Fucking death streaks. The feature that rewards people for being dreadful at the game. The idea behind it is to "get someone who is shit back into the action", but 1) That is an awful idea, it gives no one the incentive to stop being 12 and awful and 2) The death streaks were things like "Run faster for 10 seconds... IT TAKES 10 SECONDS TO GET INTO THE FIGHT. Most are literally useless, and not to blow my own trumpet but I haven't used one yet. There is no need for them, they are awful.

The "new" game modes are either re-hashes of previous game modes crossed with another, and "Kill Confirmed", which would be a good idea if every FPS since the original Counter-Strike hadn't used it. You shoot someone and grab their dog tags to confirm the kill, at which point your announcer... announces "KILL CONFIRMED". Since he announces it with every single tag collected you'll be playing on mute within 2 minutes just to avoid the constant "Kil- kill con- kill confir- kill" like your listening to an awful remix in a montage, you wanker.

As you can tell, I hate montages. Why would you want to look up how other people play their game and record it because they're smug idiots, JUST PLAY THE DAMN GAME YOURSELF. You'll (probably) have more fun, and if you get a decent kill (I say you, but if your on console it'll be your auto-aim) you'll feel much more superior than those montage wankers like Zzirgrizz.

The Strike Packages seemed like a good idea to me, but they're awful in real life. The Assault package just let's you unlock overpowered rewards you can pelt at people to kill them, because skill is overrated, so just as shit as ever. The Support package's gimmick is that when you die, your killstreak doesn't reset. So it isn't a streak then. To balance this out, the rewards are dreadful. The Juggernaught springs to mind, which makes you nigh-on indestructable while you unfairly rack up kills. Specialist package is yet another way for the game to be imbalanced. People get more and more perks for getting kills, so you can have a guy charging around at double speed with double health and extra bullet damage. There's not even anything to balance this out, say taking their radar off. No, if you're up against this guy, your only viable tactic is camp or quit.

CONCLUSION, YAY!!!! (I wanted it to sound important)

John: So there finishes our rant on the annual Call of Duty game, which is more of a definite than me being Cynical. So next year, when they release more than likely Black Ops 2, (and make me pray that the end of the world in 2012 was real) you will more than likely watch a movie instead of a singleplayer, with the most interactive experience you will perform is having to press a button every 5 minutes asking if you're sure you don't want to play online. Also zombies will be back, which is pointless, I think they should have a mode where we fight wves of snowmen who just want to be friends. I'm also going to call on a Call of Duty MMO now, it's almost a definite, the charge could be you getting violently sodomised twice a month and millions would still play it. Goodbye for now, and expect a Skyrim review (As it would be more like a love letter than a rant) sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Dan: For a final note, if you want a spoiler free summary of the Modern Warfare 3 campaign, here you go. Don't say we're never good to you.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Double Review: Deus Ex 3 + The Inbetweeners

Deus Ex: Human Revolution!

OK I know this review is a little late, but the thing is I'm 15 and have no money most of the time, so give me some fucking time to get the game alright?! My first thoughts about the game was "Oh for fucks' sake why don't you work!?". Turns out this was the ever-reliable Steam's fault, not the game's. But I won't go into that, that's for another post.

As this is a double review, I won't really go into detail about the story (to be honest I had to replay twice just to understand it, I got lost halfway through), but as ever it continues the Deus Ex series' theme of conspiracy theories, and the very real possibility of human augmentation. This really drew me into the game early on, even though it was set in shitty Detroit, which looked about as beautiful as a prostitute choking on her own vomit. Or his.

I'll now split up my review of the gameplay into the self-described "pillars of gameplay", starting with Social.

Social!

This is not a pillar of gameplay, it's just an excuse to get out of fighting most of the time. There's only one augment for this too, so you can't really develop this. Despite it being quite disappointing with the aug thing, the actually minigame of convincing someone is tense and great. Getting deep into their problems and thinking of what to say next (even though it looks ridiculous as the characters are waiting doing nothing for 2 minutes, and Adam crosses and uncrosses his arms like he has OCD, AND all character models look like they're trying to sell you drugs when you engage them in conversation) is extremely gripping, and rewarding if it pays off. This is a feature of the game I enjoyed a LOT.

Stealth!

This is the aspect of the game I adhered to the most, as I have quite a sweet spot for stealth games (and also because I'm so fucking sick of cover based shooting so I chose cover based stealth instead). The stealth is solid, some of the augs are useful for the "pillar" (becoming invisible, seeing through walls), and some are fairly useless (knowing enemies cones of vision, as you rarely ever move unless the enemy has his back to you). This mode for me was very fun, shooting an enemy with a silenced pistol then smacking his mates' heads together is endlessly satisfying. However, it's almost impossible to stay stealthy and hack, as Adam stands up when he's hacking, so unless you've tranquilised everyone in the room and typhoomed the robot your going to get shot in the arse (and then you'll find that all there was was an email from Nigeria saying you've won £120,000,000,000,000)). The stealth did also get tedious near the end so on the final stage of the game when it turns into 28 Days Later I just grabbed a minigun and blasted all organic matter to liquid to spray paint robots with.

Hacking!

Hacking in the original Deus Ex was basically the same as installing Windows 7 onto a PC, and the bar has been raised in this game. The hacking mini-game is a tense game of balancing probability and greed for datastores. The mini-game is almost always well balanced, so I have no criticisms for this bit. Good job.

Combat!

Yay cover based shooting, how exciting. The prologue of the game made my mind up about how I was going to play the game, because with Rage, Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Gears of War 3 etc. will give me my share of brown cover shooting and regenerating health for this year. Now comes the main criticism: the fucking boss fights. They're more out of place than a clown at a funeral, making you shoot and kill the huge motherfuckers, and as I'd gone stealthy with a tranq rifle I was pretty much fucked. On the other hand some of the boss fights are simpler than [controverisal joke here]. The first boss fight I just chucked an EMP or two at the boss and shot him in the head with my revolver, splat dead in 15 seconds. The second boss fight another EMP then typhoon, dead in 10 seconds. The third boss fight was the hardest, as I fell for the trap that loses all my augs. Splat dead after 30 attempts. The fourth boss fight was funny, as John Smith told me of a laser rifle that can shoot through walls. Used that and splat dead with a 3 second burst.

Overall, despite it's flaws (boss fights and some shitty augs), Deus Ex 2 (for there have been only 2, shut up Alex D) is a great game, get it now. Moving on...

The Inbetweeners!

The Inbetweeners is a TV series I've always heard loads about but never watched, a bit like The Only Way is Essex, but that for me is just a stones' throw away from self-mutilation (seriously that is pure idiot TV, for people who still think Father Christmas is real at 20 years old, and stays out until 5 o clock getting drunk, vain pricks in other words).

Anyway, I decided I'd got sick of people shouting "Oooh friend!" (and variations there-of, e.g. fat friend, lard friend etc.) at me without me understanding what was going on, so I watched it.

On the whole the Inbetweeners is not bad at all, there were some parts I found hilarious, and it was the type of humour the Office had, extremely cringe-worthy. Admittedly I found it a lot less funny than the Office because of them (shit) slipping (bollocks) a curse (fuck) word in every two seconds (blumpkin; google it).

For the most part the situations they get into are believable, aside from one at the Caravan Club where Will takes his shoes off instead of having sex with a girl, I could tell the writers couldn't think of a way for Will to blow it with a Goth that was just throwing herself at him. The scene reminded me of the ending of Halloween where Michael just keeps getting shot and stabbed but still keeps getting up, by the end of the 8th (count 'em) film I'd be willing to bet he got nuked but survived in a fridge.

The characters are good too, especially Will, who's sarcasm and lack of common sense never fail to crack me up, especially when he is teamed up with Neil's stupidity. Mr Guilbert is great too.

So yeah, there isn't much to say about the Inbetweeners, it's pretty good and funny (John Smith wouldn't say so, he HATES the show). Give it a go if you won't, just don't wait for the US version, just watch American Pie for that.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Quick Update

Hey guys who don't exist, just a quick update/apology to say I'm sorry that fuck all has gone on this blog in a month and a half. To be honest, I just couldn't be bothered doing anything as I got extremely disillusioned with the Top 10 Gaming Characters collab. But oh well, me and John have got other stuff going on.

One of them includes a new project we have been working on for 12 hours now. It's going to be a podcast where we talk about numerous things from the media, pop culture etc. It's actually going to be very similar to the web series I was planning called Both Extremes, where I did satirical reviews on films, games and TV. It was cancelled because of a combination of laziness and how awful I am on camera (I looked like a right cock).

So now like a drug-addled spaz emerging from a ditch in the morning, I've returned to the World Wide Web, along with John. Look out for the podcast, probably going to be titled "Both Extremes", on my Youtube channel within a week. Depending on how well it's received, it will be uploaded as an irregular series. In the meantime, expect a review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Thanks.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Top 10 Gaming Characters Collab.

Dan: So after how much we both enjoyed doing the Top 10 Games of the Decade, we both thought that we should do another one of that kind, this time about Gaming characters. We talked for a bit while having a game of Team Fortress 2 or World of Warcraft, and narrowed it down to these 10. Take it away, John:

#10: Nathan "Nate" Drake!

John: Nathan Drake is now a bigger name on PlayStation 3 than hacking for some strange reason. He’s possibly one of the most unlikeable gaming characters ever, and in this list I’m including the game where you could play Hitler raping kittens, which I just made up. His wisecracks make me more nauseous than a sex scene involving the Honey Monster and Tony the Tiger, while spinning around. He is also just a smart arse cock who thinks he’s funnier than a fat person slipping on a banana skin. I did enjoy the Uncharted games though, having good stories and being quite fun to play, but all I had to do to stop myself from clawing my ear drum out with two gerbils is to cover my ears while he speaks.... with concrete. He’s the posterboy of the Playstation 3 now as well, so he just qualifies for our list (I prefer Victor Sullivan anyway.)

#9 Captain John Price!

John: Captain Price (This is including both the Modern Warfare series one, and also his lookalike/ grandfather in Call of Duty 1 and 2) has been one of my favourite gaming characters ever since his British stoicism and handlebar moustache which looks like it’s held up by Tea and crumpets, was rescued in Call of Duty 1. His character represents all that is British about everything, and he may as well wear a top hat and constantly call everyone Guv’nor. He made the same impact when he first appeared in Call of Duty 4 (R.I.P the Call of Duty series, this being the last good one, may the true you never be forgotten), and the cliffhanger ending was more amazing than a room full of naked women and money. Oh and then Modern Warfare 2 made everyone more retarded than a hand puppet trying to perform brain surgery, so we’ll forget about that butchering his story.

Dan: Yeah Captain Price is pretty cool, he looks hilarious, just like General Melchett from Blackadder Goes Forth. His lines however, are NOT believable, like in Call of Duty 4 he says "That's what I would've done but your arse had all the C4,". The way he says this makes him sound like a 6 year old slowly reading out lines from a badly written piece of card. But whatever, he quotes Churchill in MW2, so he's awesome in my books. He's probably the only genericly British character I've ever actually liked in a game. I don't really have much to say about him, he's a really funny British stereotype and a joy to play with up until Modern Warfare 2, where he just about let me play the game without jamming electric rods up my nostrils.

#8 The Heavy (TF2)!

John: Team Fortress 2, is by all accounts a funny game, but still, I think the main, and funniest character on it is the Heavy, a cross between Joseph Stalin and a snowman with a fondness for sandwiches. Yes he takes damage and hits like a tank firing nuclear missiles in a war against the smurfs, but that's just all part of his appeal (and even then the Pyro still makes me want to break my computer.) In the whole time that Team Fortress has been out he has become the main character of the online game, which is why he is 1 of 2 Valve characters on this list, and if you don’t agree you probably have a cock's name and like anime, you cunt.

#7 Mario!

Dan: Like it or hate it, Mario helped make gaming into the massive multi-billion pound business it is today. I have some respect for the character, after all he was in great games like Donkey Kong (under the alias of Jump-Man) and Super Mario Bros. 1 and 3. If you don't know why 2 is hated so much you are retarded. It is the most well known gaming anecdote ever, it would be like asking what the UN is or why is there is sliced bread. Saying this, the character is anything but likeable. He fucking wastes his time saving Princess Peach again and again and again until you just wish Bowser was dead (well he does die in every single game, but he's brought back so he can try out the next stupid gimmick), and it is literally impossible to connect to him, trying to connect to Mario is like trying to connect emotionally to a lamp that is never turned on. As awful a character as Mario is, he was for years the face of gaming, so deserves some recognition.

#6 Solid Snake (Erect Penis)

Solid Snake has possibly the most erotic name in gaming since Titty Mcvagina, so it stops you from taking anything he says more seriously than a three headed tortoise giving a speech about a giant talking arse. He throws himself into ever situation with a leather suit based on those worn by an 80’s pornstar probably. But if you look round all this, then you will see there is a lot to this character and his story, going more into philosophy than a philosophising pumpkin who philosophises. It is one of the best in gaming, along with that of his father’s, and I felt emotion the ending of Metal Gear Solid 4 when I rounded up the story perfectly. But wait their making a new game with fucking Raiden, yes, I’m tying my noose right now as Metal Gear Solid gets royally raped up the arse. As long as it doesn’t involve Snake though, it’ll be fine. Snakes survival style stealth is also some of the best I have ever seen in gaming, and getting through levels making guards less alert than if they saw a rock is still statisfying. Doesn’t stop me wanting to curb stomp Raiden into the centre of the earth though, but I’m well within my rights to do that considering he whines more than a creaky door in the wind.

#5 Bolvar Fordragon/The Lich King!

John: Bolvar Fordragon, possibly the most random and out of place character on this list other than the one who lists his favourite book as Mein Kampf (Joke attributed to Dan) and goes out of his way to run over deer. So I probably need to explain this to the uneducated/horde players (probably the same people) out there. I have thought of Bolvar Fordragon as my favourite and most bad ass character in World of Warcraft (and maybe complete Warcraft lore along with Broxigar) ever since the vanilla game, after the Blackrock quest line, which resulted in him kicking more dragon arse than a man with a lizard fetish, and was one of the most amazing things I saw in the game, resulting with Onyxia’s unmasking. However then Varian returned, and I was wondering what they were going to do with this amazing character, I worried they would even get rid of him completely, but when he turned up to help me fight Thel’zan it was like Jesus had come again.... with naked girls. One thing and another eventually lead to the Wrath gate, and to my horror, he was killed, Fuck Sake Blizz, they may as well have told me I was adopted and my real parents where millionaires with flying ponies. However when he returned in the most fucking bad ass way possible, after defeating the Lich king, it gave me goose bumps like the time in Vanilla, and making him become the Lich King finally gave this amazing character the respect he deserves in the god damn game. Now here’s a convenient segway onto Dan speaking about the Lich King with as much enthusiasm as if he’s been offered up for castration.

Dan: Yeah the Lich King is pretty good, he creates a bit of atmosphere when he's about but of all the spoof videos I've seen about the cunt every time I see him I just piss myself at the "Arthas! Time for bed line from World of Workcraft!" His voice is incredibly generic too, it's basically JC Denton shouting in a steel bin. Yes he does evil things but if you want to care about them then don't take them seriously. Because of the retarded fucking way people die in WoW with that same sound effect every time it just becomes laughable. And if this sounds like I don't like the Lich King that you, you're right. If you want a good villain go knock on Sauron's door or the Joker from the Dark Knight. The Lich King is basically Sauron with the WICH KING's voice and appearance and motivations and everything else. So yeah, if you want a half decent villain but can't take him seriously, see the Lich King, if you want an INTERESTING villain, see the Joker from the Dark Knight (not from before that though when the most evil thing he does is spray paint a museum like a teenage hoodlum).

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Games I Will Be Getting...

Now that the diary is finally out of the way, I can put up other blog posts. This one, will contain a list of games I will be getting by the end of the year, and will maybe post some reviews. But for now, I give you some previews, starting with this one:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim!

Yes, one of my most hotly anticipated games of the last 4 years. The gameplay has made it look brilliant, with dramatic improvements over Oblivion, with quite a few world alterations that I think will be great. Oh and they've brought back another famous name they'll probably kill off straight away, ala Patrick Stewart and Liam Neeson.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution!

The original is shaping up to be a great game so far, so if this continues and doesn't end shittily or just turn awful half way through, then this will be a pretty good game to get (I might also get Deus Ex: Invisible War, but from what I've seen its as badly-received as an amputation of the cock, so I just hope Human Revolution doesn't jump back for a complementary castration.

Dead Island (maybe)!

Yes I was at first interested in Dead Island after seeing the excellent cinematic trailer that played in reverse, I thought "Wow a zombie game that doesn't revolve around the misadventures of a couple of 20-something drunken buffoons cutting zombies up with axes." So you can imagine my rage when I turned on the gameplay the trailer and say four louts ala Left 4 Dead 2 hitting up zombies with axes. I thought that the game would have normal characters like parents who actually have morals and are reluctant to chop up zombies like oranges on Fruit Ninja, but no we've just got Ellis/Coach from L4D2 copy and pasted AGAIN. But I don't know, may it'll be worth a look in.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary!

Yes this game is my second favourite game of all time in my favourite game franchise of all time but I probably won't get this. Reasons? 1. It will give the impression that I approve of getting the same game AGAIN just because it has updated graphics, and 2. I just don't think 343 Industries have left it bloody alone. They said "It's still classic Halo: CE, we've just updated the graphics (which is irritating in itself as they're charging £40 for the same game I bought 10 years ago)", but I don't believe them. They've probably done a few "tweaks" to make it better, and these will probably defeat the great reputation of this game. So, yeah. Meh.

Warhammer 40k: Space Marine!

Even though the actual board game is so incredibly boring it gives new meaning to the word "board", I liked Dawn of War. Not Dawn of War 2, after the good first one this was like having a nice peaceful backrub then the masseuse drives a knife covered with salt into your back. So I was already slightly inclined to like this game. I only really started to look foward to it when I found out it wasn't a realistic cover shooter (we've had a tidal wave of these recently, I've had more experience popping up of cover than I have fucking breathing). Finally a game that has the balls to do something different with the genre.

So the other day I downloaded the demo and played it. And loved it. It was all I was looking forward to, and then some. Loved every second of it, and was actually disappointed when I finished it. This demo propelled this game to my games of the year predictions.

Battlefield 3!

Pretty simple one, even though it's a realistic shooter, I much much prefer the look of this to Modern Warfare 3. Well, me and about 10 million other arseholes on YouTube. There's not really much I can say about BF3 in this preview, because I can't really think of stuff to say without playing it. So that's it. Yeah... I know it's a disappointing.

But if you think this was too short, hopefully the next one will make up for it:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3!

I literally sighed deeply as I typed those words, but looking even further up to the Dead Island preview I just gave myself a little slap. "Shame on you Daniel JC James Levinius Barker," I said to myself, "How can you complain that zombie games always use the same protaganists when MW3 is coming out, YET ANOTHER COVER BASED REALISTIC SHOOTER." Every shooter and it's dog and it's dog's food is a cover based one now a days. WHY can I not find a shooter like Doom, where I can charge through rooms at Warp Factor 9 and blast everything to pieces with a huge rocket launcher that would bend my spine in half.

Well that's an entire paragraph wasted, so anyway Modern Warfare 3: Am I looking forward to it? NO. Do I have any hope for it? YES. After all it's partially made by the same people who made Call of Duty 4, the gaming equivilent of getting sucked off in the Cadbury factory in Dubai. But then again I watched the Multiplayer trailer, turned that off, watched the Modern Warfare 2 trailer and scratched my head wondering which was which. I'm not being sarcastic, that is actually what I did. Seriously I hear my arsehole friends who have fucking countdowns to this piece of shit on their iPhones talking about it and they were jizzing themselves at the idea of yet another rip off from Halo fucking Reach.

Another reason I had some hope for the Multiplayer is that it was made by Raven Software, who I thought would at least take a single step forward to try and make it different. Looks like I'm wrong. And don't get me FUCKING started on how the story is looking, WHY MUST THE GAMEPLAY BE 'REALISTIC' AND HAVE A STORY THAT CAN ONLY BE THOUGHT UP BY A MAN SITTING IN A MENTAL HOSPITAL EATING FLOWERS. I knew that Modern Warfare 2 had just given up on the realistic thing (one of the things that made CoD 4 so good) by the time General Sheperd kills you for no reason (that was the most annoying gaming experiences I've ever had).

I want to make this perfectly clear: I am getting this game because I know for a fact that it is the only game that people will play for about 7 months. Other better games like Warhammer 40k: Space Marine will be abandoned within 2 hours of play to get the Red Dot Sight on your Ak 47 or whatever the fuck. Xbox Live has become a bleak world, where whenever people are not on Black Ops multiplayer they're playing Zombies because they're MENTALLY DEFECTIVE.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Diary Of Pordit Bronzebeard: The Final Chapter.

August 14th:

Jonith and I finished in Northern Stranglethorn and by then I had grown restless. I couldn't stand waiting around training for the final fight with that traitor Magni, so Jonith and I agreed to go to Darnassus to get the Night Elves' help. We were both NOT looking forward to this, as I hate Night Elves (bloody tree huggers) and the Gilnean/Worgen refugees live in Darnassus.

We had a lovely drink in Booty Bay, God how I missed a good pint of stout. Had a good chat with a Warlock in there, talked things over with him about me regaining my crown and what he was up to in the Vale. Finally Jonith said the ship was here so I said bye to the Warlock and managed to urge Betsy into a running jump to get on the bloody ship.

It was an overnight voyage to Ratchet, so Jonith and I slept on a couple of hammocks next to a couple of idiot sailers. Fell asleep quickly though.

August 15th:

Got woken up early by the cry of "Land ho!". That's become such a bloody cliche, they can't resist booming that one out. Jonith and I were happy to get off that tub, and into the port of Ratchet.

Ratchet is alright, not really keen on Goblins, prefer Gnomes really. But the Steamwheedle lot are alright, they sold us stuff and repaired my equipment. Gloin (my pet bear from Dun Morogh) followed Jonith and I all the way across the continent, I couldn't bring myself to abandon him.

The trip across the Barrens was brilliant. I was hoping to run into a few Horde scouts so I could kill them in cold blood, and I wasn't disappointed. Got to a little camp where a few orcs were offering services. One had his face clawed to a bloody pulp, another has a sword-shaped hole in his midriff and the last has an arrow in the back of his head. The gutless little bitch tried running and screaming in Orcish, so I shot him. It was fun. Haven't killed a Horde in ages.

Rode across the Barrens. Even though it's been cut in half the trek is still as boring as hell. With the odd Orc wandering about it was tolerable, it was still crap though.

Reached the Ashenvale border and made camp near there. Had lot's of sand in my armour, so it was an uncomfortable night.

August 16th:

Woke up rather peacefully, if a little early. Nipped off for a piss while Jonith was still asleep, almost got some on my shoes when I saw the state of Ashenvale. About half of it has been cut down, and the other half is in THE PROCESS of being cut down. Now I'm all for industrialisation but come ON. I'm all for the Night Elves here.

Jonith woke up and we carried on. Jonith noticed the tree thing too, but by that time I had gotten used to it so I didn't listen to him. Was brought back to my senses however when we reached Astranaar. There were Horde pilots riding those bat things all around, throwing down fire or something. Jonith and I were angry, but didn't want to linger long.

Moved on to Darkshore, but not before being confronted by a clearing in Ashenvale that was on fire. Didn't really understand why, but I couldn't be arsed fighting the fire lord thing. Don't think it was Ragnaros somehow.

By this point I was tired and pissed off, but we had reached Darkshore and had another couple of hours' ride until Auberdine and the ship to Darnassus. Reached Auberdine though, and found it completely destroyed by that bloody Deathwing. I'm getting bloody sick of this Cataclysm, it may have helped my escape from prison but its bloody annoying otherwise.

Took a hyppogryph from Darkshore to Darnassus. I still hate that bloody city, what's the point in building a city in a tree, just burn the tree down. That's why Ironforge is great, I'd love to see the Horde burn down a mountain!

It was late, so Jonith and I got rooms in the inn after listening to a load of Night Elf kodo-shit. Fell asleep quickly.

August 17th:

Jonith woke me up early to say he was going to see the Gilnean refugees. I thought this a bad idea as I knew he'd spit on them or something (he hates worgen). He insisted that he go before we see Whisperwind, so I reluctantly went with the stubborn bastard, haha. I was right, he spat on the first Worgen he saw. We were lucky we weren't ripped apart.

He changed his mind on Worgen when he saw his sister though (fine looking too). He had a lengthy chat with her, talking things over about his family (Light have mercy), I couldn't listen that much, his sister was VERY good looking, haha.

Something changed in Jonith then, he no longer hated Worgen. In fact he was hell-bent on becoming one! Pah! I think if you'd willingly take the Worgen curse you SHOULD be thrown back in the Stockade. No that's awful I can't think like that. He saved me after all.

He was telling me about how he could help the Gilneas Liberation Front in... liberating Gilneas I guess. I couldn't be bothered telling him how crazy he was so I just said "let's see Whisperwind first." Thankfully, he agreed.

Had to walk up a big bloody tree to get to Whisperwind and Stormrage (not evil one). Was annoyed and tired when we got to them. Quickly changed my mind however, when they reacted much more warmly to us than the other Alliance leaders. They knew of Magni's treachery, but they regretfully couldn't give us any troops. The reason, they said, was because Mount Hyjal was kicking off again due to the Cataclysm. I accepted this, just a little disappointed. The burning desire for revenge was replaced with the acceptance that it will end soon, just without the Alliance's help. This resignation will help to fuel my courage in the times ahead.

The Ambassador from the Draenei refused our help too, more preoccupied with the fight in Outland apparently (not sure how when Illidan and Kil'Jaeden have been bloody defeated). Stormrage did gracefully offer the services of Darnassus for free, which was very nice of him.

Jonith and I bought some food and water, had a drink of stout and set off once more. This time we agreed that we should go to Lordaeron as soon as possible and seek out the help of the Argent Dawn.

I came up with a really stupid idea to get to Lordaeron: Sneak through Orgrimmar to get to the zeppelin that goes to the Undercity. It was an idiotic idea, but we couldn't think of anything else. If we took the boat from Rutheran to Stormwind we'd have to go through Khaz Modan, and security has been tightened up. There are guards everywhere, looking for me specifically. Going through Khaz Modan would have been suicide, but then again, going through Orgrimmar is too.

The Elves let us take a couple of hyppogryphs to Azshara, and we made our way to Orgrimmar's back door. We killed a couple of travellers and put on their cowls. The hoods covered our faces well but not the shape of our bodies. We couldn't look less like members of the Horde. We got to the lift that would take us up to where the zeppelins are, but then our luck ran out. The guards noticed we were Alliance and pretty much all of Orgrimmar were chasing us. We got the zeppelin just as it was about to leave, so Jonith and I launched ourselves off the tower and clung to the back of the zeppelin. We left the Horde behind us, shaking their fists comically.

The crew were neutral Goblins, but there were 2 Forsaken guards on there. Jonith and I hid ourselves on the zeppelin, avoiding the guards as much as possible. It was a long night

August 18th:

Arrived in Lordaeron early in the morning, didn't want to go straight into the Undercity, so we jumped off the back of the zeppelin. Landed in a couple of bushes, so it wasn't fatal, just about anyway. I hate Lordaeron, it's horrible.

It used to be beautiful, when it was pre-undead, but now it's just a land of nightmares. I don't know how the Horde can accept the Forsaken bastards, they're clearly evil.

But before we went to see the Argent Dawn/Crusade, I proposed we went to see the last king of Lordaeron, King Terenas Menethil, father of the traitor Arthas. We would pray at his tomb for his blessing, then move east to the Plaguelands. This was easier said than done, as his tomb is directly over the Undercity, realm of the vile Forsaken. As much as I feared and Jonith insisted we would be found and killed, we prayed at his tomb undisturbed.

Newly invigored with Terenas and the Light's blessing, we moved south with great haste, Betsy galloping the entire way. We decided we were going to Gilneas to see what had become of it, then pass into Hillsbrad to resupply at Southshore...

The road to Gilneas was treacherous, with Forsaken all around us, not to mention at the Greymane Wall itself, where it was pretty much a warzone between the honourable Gilneas Liberation Front and the evil Forsaken. I will never forgive them after what happened at the Wrathgate.

Slipped into Gilneas and made our way to Gilneas City, where we saw that the 7th Legion had been there to help the Gilneans. Jonith and I felt happier at this, but that wouldn't last. We later passed to the city graveyard to see Jonith's ancestors.

As Jonith laid flowers on their graves, my thoughts turned to the future. Would my great-great-grandsons and daughters be laying flowers on a King's grave, or would they believe Magni's lies? As these thoughts passed through my head, Jonith broke down weeping.

We made our way to a nearby abandoned Gilnean house and slept there for the night.

August 19th:

Rode out of Gilneas as early as possible, as I knew Jonith didn't want to linger in the awful place. The ride through Silverpine was like a dream and before we knew it, we had arrived in the new Hillsbrad Foothills. The smell of Undeath lingered in the air, and the blight of the Forsaken was evident. Anger pulsed through my veins as we rode through the once human settlements.

We were looking forward to arriving in Southshore so we could at last rest for a few days, but we were greeted with a terrible sight. Southshore, once my refuge from regal life, has been utterly destroyed. The New Plague, the Forsaken Blight, covered the ground and destroyed buildings. We sobbed as we walked through the poor town, until we reached the inn, which amazingly was in perfect condition, on the inside at least.

I swear to the Light, by all that is Holy, I will gather the armies of Khaz Modan and MARCH ON THE UNDERCITY! FOR THE ALLIANCE! Rage was coursing through my veins, I felt like a Warrior.

We moved on quickly, going north to the Ruins of Alterac. We rode through Stahnbrad, which had been taken over by some cultists, and fought off a few ogres that now occupy the ruins.

Reached the border of the Western Plaguelands, at Chillwind. We set up camp just within Alterac, as I didn't feel too good about making camp in the dreaded Plaguelands. Soon, we would be fighting alongside my holy brothers, the Argent Crusade!

August 20th

Though Jonith didn't know it, I was secretly hoping I fell in battle with the Scourge with the Light's blessing, as I did not know whether my fierce hatred and anger at my nephew would not be forgiven by the Holy Light.

We arrived at Chillwind Camp, beseeching the assistance of the Argent Crusade, but they said before we could negotiate we needed to help Thassarian retake Andorhal. For the Alliance!

Arrived in Andorhal and Thassarian gave Jonith and I commands to kill a Lich called "Araj the Summoner". Glad that I would be slaughtering Scourge soon, we began to hunt him.

And that's where we're up to, we decided to write in here about past events while we wait for the Scourge fiend to draw near so we can ambush it. Can't wait to get out there and fire an arrow through his head.

Got to cut this short, I can hear him drawing near! If I should die, tell my family back home that I love them, and that I am no traitor. This is it, he's here...

FOR KHAZ-

(Dwarven blood splatters the diary)