Sunday, 26 December 2010

GT5 And Head Tracking

Another WTF for GT5 was me trying to get the head tracking working. I have the camera going through a USB hub and it appeared in the options settings, after i switched it back from the Moves wide angle mode, but i could not get the bugger working in the Arcade/Practice mode. After some reading on the intarwebs and frowning at all the conflicting information about it only working in some modes with certain cars i cracked it. In anything above a Beginer you have to turn off Fuel/Tyrewear in the pre-race options! don't ask me why, you just do. After i did that it seems to be working fine with all in car views.

The angle of turn isn't huge, it allows you to check out your rear view mirrors and look up and down a bit but it's enough to create a feeling of driver movement, i never realised just how much i do turn my head while driving in a game until now.

I've also been playing Tumble with my new wavey stick, does the end have to glow magenta? :D it shows off just how versatile the Move controler is and i imagine after a few more shots of JD stacking things on top of other things will be as much fun as:-

Friday, 24 December 2010

Unofficial Xmas Post.

If you reach out and touch someone, make sure they're legal ;P

Happy Xmas Citizens. Power to teh Gamer!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

10 biggest gadget letdowns of 2010

Not everything lives up to the impressive-sounding, bullet-point list of features that appeared on the internet six months before launch.

Sometimes owning high-spec gadgets is best left to the imagination, as the result of your latest internet shopping spree can end with the courier dropping off something that isn't quite as life-changing and empowering as the multi-million pound, pan-European marketing assault initially suggested.

Spec sheets are one thing, but as tech gets more and more complex and attempts to please more and more people by combining ever-longer lists of features into one box, we're seeing companies fail to get the dizzying modern blend of software and hardware anything like right.

So what products have disappointed us this year? Which ones do we wish we'd waited for a few more reviews to filter through before maxing out the credit card? And which product was so terrible it was pulled from sale in the face of mass consumer disgust?

Read The Full Story Here: [[HERE]]

What we know about Starhawk

If I could only have one PS3 game, I'd have to choose Warhawk. Given it's over three years old, visually it shows it's age, plus it is solely a multiplayer game, it might seem an odd choice. That fact remains, I've had more fun playing Warhawk than anything else.

Rumours surrounding the sequel have been with us for a long time, and seem to be heating up - so here is a summary of what we know, littered with personal opinion as is traditional on U3S!

The name: Starhawk

Sony trademarked the name Starhawk around April 2009. That is all we know, it's not necessarily linked to LightBox Interactive (Dylan Jobe's development house, broken off from Incognito, responsible for Warhawk expansion packs etc.).

Is it a sequel?

Rumours are plentiful, I've been Googling this morning and the only verified source is Dylan Jobe's carefully selected comments on Twitter. So vague are these I won't repeat them here, but they do not state that the project LightBox are working on is indeed a sequel, a "Warhawk in space", or any other details whatsoever!

So what do we know?

It is clear that Dylan is passionate about his project and will not release information until ready to do so. There have been no leaks, so he's also running a nice tight ship. Best of all, he says we deserve games which are not rushed. We do, I'm happy to wait for one.

Via Twitter he refers to aiming to please fans, that's where the sequel rumour comes in. More interestingly he states they are developing "new and exciting stuff".

There is reference to mission design, some take this to imply a single player campaign - hmm, not necessarily...

So, we know just about nothing.. what do we want then?

Well, the balance in Warhawk is incredible, it's possible to be strategic to succeed, or skillful, or gain strength from teamwork, or on occasion a bit of blind jamminess! All these please!

I could bang on about how nice Warhawk vehicles are, how sweet a well timed mine or grenade is, how funny a man on man knifing runaround can be, how satisfying a thoughtful switch to a rocket launchers to take out a deadly tank or warhawk is, I could keep going. Enough said, just don't take the best of these out without putting twice as much back in.

The ability to quickly jump in on an official server 32 player romp, or find two or three likeminded folk for a little deathmatch - whatever you want to find, a tweak on the game filters and join in the game you want. To this day (three years later) the matchmaking (or perhaps lack of) is pure perfection, perhaps by virtue of not trying to be perfect!

The range of game options, map selection etc. is nice, the ability to set up a host game and even play on it in online split screen is just so perfect. Essential for the next one.

Good headset support, reasonably easy muting of idiots too.

So, I've listed only things Warhawk already has, as for the rest? Honestly, anything is OK! I want a modernised Warhawk with great new maps, without massive changes. Put it in space, back is the Warhawk world, between the two, anywhere - just don't go backwards on anything which was right before, it all needs a really good reason to justify something coming out.

What if it's completely different? Great, bring it on!

I like to think they know this at LightBox, one day, hopefully soon, we'll find out.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Gran Turismo 1.05 Live

The latest update to Gran Turismo 5, version 1.05, was made available just a few hours ago and weighs in at 608MB. Here’s a quick, official summary of all the new changes, but users are discovering a few more new tweaks in our forums as well:

* Seasonal Events: [Seasonal Events] have been added to the [GT Mode] – [GT Life] screen. From here you can participate in official online events from the Polyphony Digital team. In these events, all participants are under the same regulations, and if you complete the event you will win rewards and experience. Compete on the leader boards with players around the world, in Time Trials and Drift Trials!
* Online Collector’s Dealership: An [Online Collector's Dealership] has been added to the left and centre of the [GT Mode]-[GT Life] screen. In here you will find popular and rare cars. You might just come across that one car you’ve always been looking for, that you haven’t been able to find in the [Used Car Dealership].
* Online Race Rewards and Experience: When you complete a race in the [Open Lobby] or [My Lounge], you will now gain rewards and experience points. Even if you are focused more on playing online, you’ll still be able to gain rewards and levels that you need to progress in [GT Life].
* Driving Distance and Number of Wins in Online Races: The driving distance and the number of wins you achieve when you complete a race in [Open Lobby] or [My Lounge] will now affect your stats in [Profile] and the [Garage]. Here the results from your online play will cumulate within [GT Life].
* Improved Rewards: The rewards for winning races in both A-Spec and B-Spec in [GT Mode]-[GT Life] have been increased for a limited time only. (This applies until the end of January 2011.) This is a great chance for those who were previously having difficulties getting ahead in the game, due to a lack of funds for tuning and purchasing required cars.
* Race Information Display: It is now possible to set the [Race Info Display] in [Start]-[Quick Options]. (You can also set this in [Race Display] in [Options]).
* Save Data Backup: You can now copy and restore your save data. For details, please refer to the in-game [Manual].
* User BGM (Menu): From [Options]-[Hardware]-[Audio Settings], it is now possible to set the [User BGM] (Menu)]. (This can also be set from the [Music Library] within [GT Mode]).
* Car Name Change: The official name of “Red Bull X1″ has been changed to the “Red Bull X2010″.
* Integration with the Website: The main features within [GT Mode]-[Community] can now also be accessed through the “” official website.
* [Important Note:] We have made improvements to the [Log] within [GT Mode]- [Community] section, in order to make its operation more stable. Please note that the information that was contained here from before the update has been reset.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - for £24.99 today

Game email told me I could get NFS Hot Pursuit for £24.99 today. I had a fiver on my loyalty card too, so I couldn't resist this for £19.99. All ordered up:

Merry Christmas MrJimmy, love from MrJimmy xxx

Much as I'm enjoying GT5 and have Black Ops coming from my missus, I miss Burnout Paradise's uber fast madness - seeing this is from the same team (saving the NFS franchise from self destruction in one foul swoop) I just have to rock this one...

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Ultimate PS2

While it is a kosher Sony product, Sony is keeping tight-lipped about the telly and wouldn't give us any details because the company is "not 'actively' pushing the item". We know the feeling: we've lost count of the days we've spent trying not to talk about something that seemed like a fantastic idea the night before...

"It's so ... black!" said Ford Prefect, "you can hardly make out its shape ... light just seems to fall into it!"

Zaphod said nothing. He had simply fallen in love.

The blackness of it was so extreme that it was almost impossible to tell how close you were standing to it.

"Your eyes just slide off it ..." said Ford in wonder. It was an emotional moment. He bit his lip.

Zaphod moved forward to it, slowly, like a man possessed - or more accurately like a man who wanted to possess. His hand reached out to stroke it. His hand stopped. His hand reached out to stroke it again. His hand stopped again.

"Come and feel the surface," he said in a hushed voice.

Ford put his hand out to feel it. His hand stopped.

"You ... you can't ..." he said.

"See?" said Zaphod, "it's just totally frictionless. This must be one mother of a mover ..."

He turned to look at Ford seriously. At least, one of his heads did - the other stayed gazing in awe at the ship.

"What do you reckon, Ford?" he said.

"You mean ... er ..." Ford looked over his shoulder. "You mean stroll off with it? You think we should?"


"Nor do I."

"But we're going to, aren't we?"

"How can we not?"

Friday, 3 December 2010

Sony Release New PS2

What do you get when you combine a Sony 22-inch Bravia LCD with a Sony PS2? The ultimate babysitter! It’s cheap at £199 (Richer Sounds) and has a small enough footprint to fit into most kid’s rooms. But best of all, while you’re working your way through the gory madness that is Splatterhouse on the livingroom PS3, the kids can enjoy your tame classic PS2 titles like Crash Bandicoot or Grand Theft Auto III. There really isn’t anything as rewarding as parenting, eh? If a built-in PS2 isn’t enough, there’s four HDMI ports, along with access to Sony’s Bravia online service either through Ethernet or via the optional wireless dongle. Sony’s not said just yet whether the US will get a version of the KDL-22PX300 Tough Titties America.

*runs to shop with new credit card*

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Dead Nation is a superb zombie shooter, out yesterday in the PSN Store and a proper bargain dontchaknow.

I did a Beta runaround on this, it's a top game, as I'm increasingly believing anything by my Super Stardust HD providing heroes Housemarque is going to be. It's not one to play in front of the young'uns (due to the massive amount of bloodshed and desperately morbid and gory content), but it's a great change of scene from most of the games we are playing these days!

If anyone wants to go co-op, gimme a shout.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Bothering Kazunori Yamauchi On Twitter

Gran Turismo 5 has been out for a week now, and it looks like virtual racers are full of complaints and suggestions. Polyphony head Kazunori Yamauchi recently addressed a few player concerns at his Twitter account.

Here's a bit of what Yamauchi wrote:

Regarding a YouTube video upload feature, this was actually implemented at one point, but it required a lot of time for rendering because of insufficient memory. They're still looking into it, though.

Someone asked for a no HUD option, and Yamauchi replied that they'd like to do something about this in the future.

The next update for the game is scheduled for early this month.

Face tracking is only available in arcade mode due to memory restrictions.

New lounge functionality will be added over time.

Regarding an option for just driving around town, Yamauchi said that this is one of the things that they'd wanted to do but were unable to.

They're currently preparing a credits and experience system for online play. Yamauchi said to wait a bit for this.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Is Gran Turismo 5 Better Than 4?

In one, plain, simple, to the point word, No. Sorry i had to break it to you like that, and you, at the back there crying, put down your Hotwheels car and pay attention. The thing is if can look beyond the Ps3 rendered tracks and the shiney new user interface what do we have? Is the difference between the 'Standard' cars and the 'Premium' cars all that great, i mean if you squint and turn your head to the side you might just see that they are marginally better as they race around the track, but apart from the fact they have interior views i suspect there was much own trumpet blowing being done to big them up without much to back it up.

The Premium cars do come into their own though during the Photo Travel mode but put a snap of each side by side and you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference at a glance.

I also feel, as i had feared during my playtime with Prologue, that the series had in fact been dumbed down, sure the physics and handling had been improved but the other drivers thus far have not shown any inclination to try and beat me. I am currently at 40% completion, Lv15 and have an iA licence.. that's after a week! i have had GT4 for the best part of 5 years and haven't achieved that much. Not sure what that says really, but to me, right now, GT5 feels like a much smaller experience to the monster that is Gran Turismo 4. Maybe things will change once i start in the Special events, NASCAR, WRC etc and start racing in the Expert Series of races.

The other bugbear that has been knawing at the back of my mind, apart from no changing the wheels on Standard cars, is the lack of options with regards to that intrusive in car HUD and the fact you can't alter the set level of the AI. First off, the HUD, WTF! last time i sat in a car i don't remember lots of data readouts floating around my head as i tried to drive, could we not at least have the ability back to customise it a bit and remove some of the junk. In GT4 i had the thing set to minimal, none of this flashing gear change indicators and lap times or position, just your speed and some other data sat neatly at the bottom of the screen, out of the way. I get that lesser mortals Need this information but it would be nice not to have a red flashing distraction on screen at every corner.

I hope to Grud that once i enter the Expert Series i will get an additional option in Arcade Mode to up the level of the drivers AI, i race in 'A' Professional Level setting and still find it way too easy. In the last GT you had a slider you could adjust to suit your level, and to be honest it didn't need to go much above 100 to provide a decent racing challenge. Are Polyphoney afraid to let people lose at races these days?

Don't know what any of you guys think so far, be interesting to hear what you have to say.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Cats Love GT5 Too

GT5 early thoughts

Being Gran Turismo, there are, generally, absolutely no surprises. It looks/sounds exactly how it should look/sound, so thats the first point.

I must add though, that it feels way more fluid than prologue, whether driving a crappy little 600cc thing or a monster AMG Merc. It feels.. more.. fun :)

My GT Force steering wheel (bought with GT3 on PS2) is really good, much better than with prior iterations of the game, good work there. I don't think I need a new one at all, although wouldn't mind comparing. tone: the pedals are OK actually, especially the way I drive (flat out > skiiiiiiiiid > flat out). Fine with a Dual Shock too, but the wheel is more immersive and accurate.

It still suffers my pet hate: I currently need a pre '79 Jap car, a 60's car, a classic European car, in order to enter the last three competitions in the Beginner class - I hate looking for a purchase!! First you have to look at the prerequisites, then come back out, go into dealerships, pick a manufacturer, look at the options, no nothing there, pick another, go through four or five, forget the prereqs so go back to the competition, store in brain, come back, try the used cars etc. etc. why can't it just give me a suggested list of cars I can buy so I can clickety buy, or maybe hit triangle for buy best option?

I'm sure most of you will say this is part of the fun, well, great, for you - I can't be arsed!

Following the blue/red line makes the game too easy, switching it off makes it too hard, for me at least, being a mere mortal more into arcade games. I'll admit now, the line is mostly going to stay on for a good while yet! It's too wide and bright, spoils the look.

Also, it's really easy to win many races with an overpowered machine, both online and offline. I feel like a bit of a fraud, takes the fun out.

My score: no less that 9.5 out of 10, it's just incredible. Sterile and bizarre as ever, but huge, insanely well polished, perfect in every respect... except I just want it to help me with the sea of decisions a bit more, I'm no strategy game fan.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Xmas Is Coming, Pressie Idea?

This was one of the first Apple computers ever made!

In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built their first batch of 200 Apple-1 computers and sold them for $666.66 from their parents' garage.

And now it's going up on the auction block for $240,000.

Worth it??

Possibly. This machine was hand-carved and contained 8K of memory. It was the first fully pre-assembled computer, produced with a 1.0 MHz MOS 6502 processor and a cassette for read/write capability. (Imagine saving info on a cassette tape instead of a CD or a flash drive!) It would now be considered a "glorified calculator." It comes in its original packaging, complete with instruction manual and a letter signed by Jobs.

A quarter of a million dollars seems like a hefty price, but it is a symbol of technological history and shows just how far we've come in the past 34 years.

Read More: Own A Piece Of History! |
Celebrity Juice, Not from Concentrate

Monday, 22 November 2010

My Pimp-Boy 3Billion

Roaming the wasteland in style with my gold and diamond encrusted personal PDA.
Now at the 95hr mark and off to look for a secret bunker and have words with Legion.
I have got my missing Platinum Chip back finally, Benny you f@#k!
Robot dog and trusty sidekick wench Cass doing well despite them spazzing out and
getting stuck in The King's several hours back. Used Inventory trick and they unfroze.
2500XP off level 30...


Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Kids'll Dig This New App.

seriously facinating. i cant. stop. watching. it. my last poop is averaging 4.55mph.

Friday, 19 November 2010

What If You're Not Into GT5

Well, i have to say we have some sweet looking games out this week, what with Apache, the new Need For Speed and Assassins Creed Brotherhood it's looking like a good time to be into gaming. Personally i would snap Apache up in a shot as i have been waiting for a decent chopper game since Gunship 2000 on the Amiga from back in the day, damn, have i been waiting THAT long!? But funds are limited at the moment having forked out for the CE of Gran Turismo 5 and inconsiderate people having birthdays next week :) The Need For Speed demo a couple of weeks back really impressed me, felt like the original NFS off the 3DO, yes, i did have that console, worth every penny, *ahem* Not into the Creed games, i did buy the first one and though it did impress with the graphics i found it didn't really hold me for very long, decided not to bother with the other titles in the series but it does have it's followers.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Week Long Wait Ahead For GT5

SO, what are you into apart from gaming? me, i like to ride trails and build bikes, infact i have this at the end of my road. pretty sweet hey, it cost a cool £50,000 to put togther and is national race spec'.. though it does take longer to heal these days when it all goes tits up, it's still fun to blast around.

10 month old developed RLOD - why me?

In February I posted my sad YLOD story, not that I was alone - most of you have/had original PS3s which boiled themselves to death this way...

My PS3 slim has over the last week, bugged out with a flashing red light on (literally) cold boot, I think the turn in the weather causes this. Press again to switch off, press again and it comes good - every time at the start of a session, i.e. when the PS3 is cold.

I've had a quick Google and it's mostly idiot forum posts I'm finding - any of you lot more experienced with this? Off to look for the receipt...

***Also - are you regulars cool to have your portable IDs addded at the bottom? Just say and I'll add them, it'll be cool to see you all there.***

Monday, 15 November 2010

UTS GT Training Camp, Probably...

Hey now, your a Rockstar...

This looks incredible, Rockstar are the ones I wanted to take motion capture of actors to the next level, and it's them that clearly have - Spring 2011 too, can't wait.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Logitech Driving Force Mini Review

Didn't want to say anything until i got one and tested it in case is was a pile of fail, but Maplins are knocking out some Logitech Driving Force wheels for the very reasonable sum of £24.99. Looking at their website it looks like stores only got a few in each so if you're in the market for a new nonwaveystick or arm flailing invisible controler then i can give this the Tone thumbs up seal of approval.

The Driving Force is the one without the foot pedals and has flappy paddle style levers, which are easy to configure in GT to throttle and brake. The Force feedback is very nice and strong, settings go from 0 to 10 and it feels well built for the cash, unlike that horrible horrible Trust wheel i tried a couple of weeks back, The LDF has true 1:1 movement and the slightest turn is translated onto your screen wheel. nice.

Mine, once set up was strangely about 15' off true clockwise, but upon removing the base cover i saw what needed to be done. i marked the gearing with a pen at the point the wheel thought was true, then moved it around to where i wanted it and marked the gear again. i then set it back to the first mark and carefully disconnected a mini connector off the motor, moved teh wheel back 15' anticlockwise and replaced the connector. job done.

I've also, already, covered the center boss with carbon wrap, because thats the sort of thing i have laying around this place! :)

oh, and footstool and bungee cords not included in the box, but give a great firm base and bring the wheel upto the right height when leaning back against the sofa.

GT5 + HotWheels = Sweeeeeeet

Friday, 12 November 2010

Mubi vs LoveFilm

Two new movie streaming services launch on the PS3 within a week of each other! But which one is best?!...
Actually I've only tried LoveFilm - I'm already a subscriber to their snail-mail service and on one of their cheapskate packages I'm entitled to 4 hours a month apparently. So that should get me 2 movies, or 1 and a half longer ones.

The interface is quite slick in it's iplayer-esque look-and-feel and there are thousands of movies online to choose from apparently. First problem for me is that the official PS3 bluetooth remote isn't supported properly. Argh it's like VidZone's first year all over again! I.e. play, pause, and the other main buttons on the remote aren't actually mapped to anything at all and you'll have to make do with pressing the little tiny ones, with the head of a match / broom for a mouse. If you stop watching a movie half way through and want to come back to it later then you can do so but you have to go searching for it again rather than seeing it on the front page or on a recent items menu for example. Skipping back and forward through a movie is fiddly and inaccurate. Well I guess that's one of the drawbacks of streamed content. So it's a very basic interface in need of some improvements.

Onto the more important stuff - the picture and sound quality. LoveFilm boast that the online movies have "near-DVD quality". Hmm, 1.6 Mbit/s is not near-DVD quality, not even with modern codecs. It's when the movie has a lot of action in the scene that quality suffers - with some blockiness here and there. Sound quality is pretty good although I don't know if it's more than 2 channel or not as I only have a 2 channel amp.

So whilst you guys are all waiting for GT5 to come out why not watch a movie?! Give Mubi a try and let me know whether it's any good!

mobiletone has 12 days to go...

...before he, and everyone else, get their hands on Gran Turismo 5. My copy is on order and I'm quite looking forward to a proper driving game to play at last. Shuld be gudd.

That Date: Wednesday 24th November 2010

offical news here

Thursday, 11 November 2010

CodBlops - very early impressions

I've literally only played 3 matches (in Combat Training), but thought I'd give some very early impressions on Call of Duty Black Ops. Will update the post (probably tonight) after a few more games.

First up, Combat Training is an excellent addition and should be right up Tone's street. The few matches I've played have been on Hardened difficulty (3rd out of 4 difficulties) and the bots put up a stern challenge - using killstreaks well, using grenades/stuns effectively to flush you out if you are camping etc...You can even earn XP and CoD Points (more in a minute) in combat training, so you never even have to venture online to see all the unlocks and progression that the game offers.

I love the fact that killstreak 'kills' don't count towards your next killstreak. So if you've got a mortar strike it's no use hiding in a corner hoping that you'll get enough kills for your chopper gunner; you're gonna have to, you know, go and kill people with your gun (what a novel idea!).

CoD Points are the ingame currency used to buy pretty much everything. You still earn XP which is used to unlock things like guns, the emblem designer, clan tags, match types, challenges etc... but CoD points are used to buy everything else. Want a silencer for your M16? You don't have to wait until level 14 or you complete a challenge, if you've got 2000 points spare it's yours to buy there and then.

It seems like a great system so far. Do you pay for a weapon attachment, a new perk, some equipment or set yourself an ingame challenge?

Speaking of perks, Stopping Power has been removed so your gun's damage stat is fixed. I only have access to the basic guns at the moment and I'm rocking a kinda stealthy close quarters setup with a sub machine gun. Ghost is my main perk (invisible to spy plane), with steady aim and summat else as my 3rd. Got the default launcher as my secondary so I can take down air support. Yeah, I'm a nice guy on the battlefield!

I'm not quite sure on all the options but think you may be able to play this mode in splitscreen and over a LAN. I've heard rumours that the AI in the main campaign is standard CoD fare, but the bot AI is really nice. You can even set your bot names to show people on your friend's list. Rab (MrMonkey) and Sketch took me out a few times yesterday!

Finally, a quick word on graphics and multiplayer maps. I've heard some people say this game is ugly. Well it's not by any stretch of the imagination. Nice particle effects and good textures - yes it's not a massive leap from MW2 but everything is clean and crisp which is just what's needed for spotting enemies fleeing into the distance. Only tried two maps, Array and Cracked, but they were both really solid (particularly enjoyed the snowy, destroyed comms facility in Array), lots of terrain variety, some nice hotspots but always more than one way to enter/exit an area.

I can feel the addiction growing again. [pablo]

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

New Video Account Now Running

Maybe i can stop driving my classic HotWheels cars around my desk soon..

Apparently, there is a new COD out today

Black Ops is out. I only know because I powered up for a sneaky Killzone 3 beta runaround (rather than another coffee to start my day) and 7 of my friendlist were on - aha, something is out today...

My next door neighbour is a teen who usually leaves for school around 8:45, it's 8:47 and guess what he's doing!

My Google Reader is reporting six hours of video on Facebook, loads of UK launch footage around Oxford St etc. - really? Do people still actually queue in weather like this when Play, Amazon etc. will get it to you for the morning post. Wait 6 hours you freaks!

Early reports are, it's another COD game. I've played one, it's very good. This one has to be reported at least 5% different before I'd consider loading it up, let alone a purchase.

*returns to KZ3*

Monday, 1 November 2010


Spent last Thursday in Nottingham to catch some of the Gamecity festival. Here's a quick summary of what I managed to see:

Lunch Panel

Adam Atomic (Cannabalt), Jonathan Blow (Braid), Chris Hecker (Spy Party/Spore), Keita Takahashi (Katamari, Noby Noby Boy) and some chap from Mode 7 (Frozen Synapse).

£10 to get in (no mention of this anywhere!!) but you did get a fairly good 2 course meal whilst the panel talked about their reasons for becoming indie developers. I'm a big fan of Braid, Cannabalt, Katamari and now Spy Party (more on that below) so was interesting to hear them all pretty much agree that indie is the only way to go if you have a strong idea you don't want to compromise on, whilst bemoaning triple A development as soul destroying.

Adam Atomic had some sort of semi-religious moment in the Grand Canyon and is now making a game about the experience. He sounded very excited about it, but looks like we won't see it for a few years yet.

Spy Party
Various Indie Games
Gamecity Lounge/Market Square

Comfy sofas, giant projector games (25 player Frogger anyone?), a few interesting indie games coming to XBLA/PSN, Crysis 2 and Spy Party. Despite queuing for nearly 2 hours to play this (network difficulties while they were setting up), the 7 or so minutes of gameplay me and my mate had were completely awesome.

In summary, one of you is a spy at a party, tasked with completing a set number of missions in 3 and a half minutes. These include bugging an ambassador, making contact with a double agent and switching a statue. Whilst you are trying to blend in with the crowd and complete these missions (you can take a drink from the waiter, stare out of the window, examine things in the room or talk to other guests) the other player, a sniper, has to figure out which guest is the spy and put a bullet in you before a) time runs out, or b) you complete all your missions.

It's totally gripping and has so many permutations even at this very early stage. As a sniper, I was trying to memorise the order of the statues so that I'd know when they had changed. However, I turned away to look at something else suspicious for just a second and noticed that my mate had made the switch! AI characters can perform (nearly) all the same actions as the spy, so you need to be sure before you pull the trigger. It was only in the last 30 seconds that I noticed him taking some microfilm from a book (completely by chance), so I sniped his ass.

Playing as the spy you are even more on edge. You can see the snipers red laser sight (though the sniper can effectively hide it and still be looking in your direction) which ramps up the tension when you are trying to complete a mission. Do you finish bugging the Ambassador or walk away? Which will make you look more suspicious?

Can't wait to see what other scenarios & elements Chris Hecker adds, but so far it's shaping up to be a great game. Shame Spy Party is probably 18-24 months away still.

Limbo Sound Design


Fantastic presentation from the Limbo sound designer. I have an interest in field recordings/general messing about in Logic, so this was right up my street. He walked us through a few different playable sections of the game after showing us how he created the sounds (lots of old analogue equipment to transform simple bird song and frog croaks into something more ambient and sinister).

Really have a new found appreciation for this game after seeing the amount of care and attention that went into creating the right atmosphere through clever sound design. Although he admitted he wasn't a massive gamer, he really seemed to instinctively understand how sound can lead the player on the right path.

Really looking forward to Playdead's next project now. Their Sound Designer will hopefully be involved from the start (he joined Limbo about a year before shipping).

Market Sqaure

EA Hub

EA Hub full of kids playing Harry Potter. NHS Tent full of fat kids doing aerobics and playing some EA Wii Health game. Yeah, I didn't spend much time here!


Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Good, Bad And The Sexy

Back from the trade show, a morning of trail bike riding and sweet chestnut gathering, mmmm, yepp it's that time of year when the clocks go back, the bikes get put in storage, companies try to pimp their wares to us all and we all sit around gaming moaning about how cold/dark/miserable/shite it is outside while hugging our joypads/sig' others close.

The good was all the 3DTV deals at the show and Sony putting on a good display, i got to hang out in their 'home environment' again which was nice, they had a 55" 3D screen up this time around and the quality was top notch. Nice to see even this many months later since launch and having a home built 3D rig running PS2 games that the impressions of depth and loverlyness hasn't faded. Samsung had a great entry level package in which you got a 750C series 3D 40" TV, 3D Bluray player, 2X glasses pack and a film for 795 beer tokens. Prices went from that to quite frankly obscene in the Panasonic zone!

The bad was a showing from Trust, they had a great stand with the frontend of a Merc' touring car rigged with force feedback wheels and screens where the windscreen should be. It looked good what with the external monitors showing the race. My hetro life buddy and myself went head-to-head in a timed race, and i felt like the dogs in the car, shame the wheels themselves were just soo bloody horrible with a dead zone that must have been a good 90 - 120 degrees big! the thing was just undrivable, and the game was GRiD, which i royally kick arse on with a joypad. Their force feedback just felt dead and lifeless.

The sexy was the Booth Babe from Sony that i spent a good 45 minutes chatting to/up, i blame the huge Americano i chugged earlier, after a while talking shop conversation turned to GT5 and the racing pods they run with 3D screens, she told me they had review copies of GT5 there, but no amount of begging, promising my external soul, cheap distraction technnics, would get her to give me one (f'nar!) She did admit though they still haven't got a release date for the game and had no idea when they could expect a full copy for the pods, the finger of blame seemed to be pointing at SCEA though.

Happy Halloween peeps, i'm going to roast my nuts now.

Unofficial ThreeSpeech Bloggers Hit The Hi-Tech Trade Show

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Be Very Afraid

In a news belch from Microsoft today was hidden the worrying statement:

"In the immediate future, the Xbox 360's game line-up will see a dramatic change. The Halos and Gears of Wars that dominate the platform will feel pushed aside for more inclusive games that are less about bullets and bombs, more about family-friendly action."

If that paragraph there doesn't give you the willies about what is going to happen to our dear and much loved hobby i don't know what will.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

mETAL gEAR NDS Hands On Gamplay

Having traveled back in time yesterday i managed to pick up a copy of Metal Gear for the NES, well, the softROM anyway, and seeing as i have now hammered some emulators into my NDS i figured it would be a good game to check out to make sure it was working. I had the original on my MSX, ah, i loved that machine, i used to save up my spare cash and go down to my local independant games/music shop and try to score one game a month, if there were any released that made it into the wild barren lands that i lived in at the time.

The emulators i have put onto my AceKard/Wood/Moon/R4 hybrid are NESDS, jEnesisDS and DSMasterPlus, i think you can figure out what consoles they are :)

Monday, 25 October 2010

Killzone 3 Beta gameplay WOW

The first rule about Fight Club is...

Post footage of a closed beta on youtube.

Looking lovely and a lot 'snappier' than Killzone 2. They seem to have toned down the motion blur too making it seem crisper.


New Vegas: NOT A Broken Glitch Fest.

Hippies, best hunted down and shot.

Despite ALL those people posting on the internets that their copy of Fallout New Vegas is freezing all the time, having numerous glitchs and game breaking bugs i have legged it back to my house in GoodSprings to bring you an update from the Mohave Desert.

I am currently at the 20hr mark and loving it. First off i have had one game freeze which occured after i installed the game to the harddrive and ran it straight away, Killzone also did this! But since i loaded the 1.01 patch and played a 6hr long session i have not had it happen since. The only other thing i have had happen in my 20hrs is a couple of geckos glitched into a rock so just their heads poked out, and you know what, that is the sum of all my problems with playing it on the PS3. Hardly what i would call a broken game!

I don't know what all those griefers are playing it on, probably homebuilt PCs, so there's a lot to be said for gaming on a standard console platform. I also didn't have the catalog of problems previously noted with Fallout 3. I do run two game saves at a time, rotating them every 20 minutes or if i'm about to enter a building, eyes the Statesman Hotel, just in case.

Enjoying the changes to the game, most obviously is the food/eating which instead of being an instant hit disolves HP into your system over time, usually 5 to 25 seconds, this is initially confusing as after eating, the game reports so-and-so has worn off, when in fact it has finished adding HP, another report is when fighting the game reports your AP is low, when in fact it is your HP. pedantic i know. Their is also a recipe crafting system so you can cook up a stew at a camp fire, the workbenches are still there and a new ammo reloading bench so you can make custom ammo, 20g hollowpoint shotgun shell? Clothing has a Damage Threshold as well as Armour Points.

This game gets a big, slightly irradiated, fluffy kitten of approval.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Left Left Shoot Shoot Shoot

Space Channel Five (pt 2) and it's knicker flashing heroine are coming to the PS3 Store in spanking 16:9 o'vision. If you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years SC5 is a rhythm action game at heart that's more shagadelic in style than Austin Powers on a handful of mothers little helper.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Land Of Confusion: Adios Fallout 3

350hrs of Fallout 3 condensed into 4 minutes 44 seconds. I 'finished' the game yesterday, and i don't mean just the main plot line, all side quests and misc. stuff too (main plot in good, neutral and evil) as well as visiting and exploring all 160 locations on the world map. EPIC. My final tasks were to finish the data hack of 50 terminals and kill the final behomeths, but that's just understating the travels i have taken these past few days.

At one time i was trapped in the Statesman Hotel for 3hrs thanks to a glitch and i had to end up building a pile of mutant legs, fire extinguisers, corpses and my damn minigun just so i could manage to jump up to a ledge and escape, only to be confronted by a 3 storey drop to the street below.

With all that done i met up back with Red, Shorty and Charon in Megaton and kitted them out in various bits of Brotherhood tech and we set out on the long march to the Whitehouse (i couldn't decide between that or the Vault-Tec HQ as a final place). Along the way we got into scrapes and fights, even managed to kill a Scavenger i quite liked, but that's how it goes in the Wasteland, i loved making up back stories and such as i went along for people and places, that was part of the appeal for me in this game. We eventually got to the Whitehouse, and i'd built this place up an epic place to finish the game, but it was not to be so, we entered the site via a maintenance tunnel to be confronted by what looked like the site of a direct nuke strike.

As i stood there, shell shocked, some Glowing Ones attacked the party and Red fell before the others took them out in a hail of gun and plasma fire. My rad count was rising fast as i dragged Red's body into the sun wondering how it could have come to this after soo long, i looked at Charon and Shorty not knowing where to go from here, Red trusted me, now she was dead at my feet, the clicks rose higher, i looked around as sever radiation sickness took hold then my kness buckled and i fell onto Reds motionless body, the music tolled the death notes as the camera panned around.

But that's the Wasteland for you, live your own life because one day it will claim you.

Tommorrow, i head for New Vegas.

Fish Botherer

Now, if you're anything like me fish seem to want to kill themselves than be looked after by yours truely, that's if the cats never got to them first. So i was quite interested when 'My Aquarium' popped up on the Store, i had a spare few quid in the account so i figured, what the hell, and got it.

I've set some test aquariums up to see what happens, no sign of canabalism or floaters yet :) Leaving the thing running is veeeery chilled out with a nice range of background music, though the bubbling noise can get a little bothersome so i turned the volume down on it. can't do that with real fish can you.

If you're feeling cheap and can't be bothered with virtual fish keeping the dynamic theme is pretty nice too.

ps: cats have shown no interest in attacking virtual fish, i think they're more hyped by pawing at the cars in GTs replay mode.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Most Hardcore Game ever?

Kind of makes my 36hrs and party of Lv20 character in DQIX seem insignificant :)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Now A Word From Our New Sponsors

GT5: The Excuses For The Delay

Driving simulator Gran Turismo 5 was penciled in for a November 2 release. Good thing that was pencil. The game has been delayed, and its creator has taken to Twitter to explain why.

"Apologies for the delay," Yamauchi tweeted. "It's because time and labor were spent ironing the kinks out of [the game's] complex system. I'm really sorry. Everyone, it's inexcusable... Wait a little longer."

With a development price tag of US$60 million plus, Gran Turismo 5 was first shown at the E3 gaming convention in 2006. GT5 was dated for March 2010 for Japan, but the game was delayed. It was then slated for November 2. It will not make that early November release.

According to Sony, "Creator Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital want to make certain they are creating the perfect racing experience, and we are confident that this ambitious game will exceed expectations when it launches."

Sony spokesperson Satoshi Fukuoka told Reuters that "production difficulties" caused the delay.

Gran Turismo 5 is currently slated for this "holiday season". The holiday season in Japan carries over into early January with the New Year holidays. Sony would not clarify whether the game will be out by the end of 2010 or in early 2011.

In another tweet, Yamauchi stated that he thought players would have to wait until the end of the year.

Monday, 11 October 2010


Got my free sample of the x3jailbreak today, dispite DHL trying to deliver it since 22-09, useless tossers! if they'd left a card the first time i may have got it a month ago. Anyway it came in a nice case and is pretty well made, a rear cap removes to set it to flash mode or operation mode in the PS3. downloaded the software installer and they didn't include the code.bin file needed to flash it! d'oh. Have requested it off a couple of people, see what happens. Even though i can't use it, it's nice to have as a bit of tech from PS3's history, probably just bung it in a drawer and just forget about it now.

Also been thinking about trying to fix my dead 60Gb model, looks like i'm going to have to go the re-flux/heatgun way, hell, it's not like i've got anything to lose by having a go as my replacement has been working fine since i got it. and running much cooler i may add. Just need to get myself a heat gun, everything else is a trip to my local Maplins.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Four Weeks To Go, FOUR WEEKS!

Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed, Please don't be delayed....

Oh and it's two weeks to go until Fallout: New Vegas too. sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. what are you lot looking forwards to this gaming season?

Zero Punctuation: Halo: Reach

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Midnight Games Release

On The Leaked Internet Porn List?

AS the names of alleged pornography file sharers were leaked online, men have united to confess that every last one of them looks at dirty stuff on their computers.

How dare you judge him
Men of all ages and backgrounds took the bold step to thwart any potential exploitation had the proof that they look at undressed women engaged in all manner of hot, wet jiggery-pokery fallen into the wrong hands.

Reverend Tom Logan, delegated to speak for all men, said: "Henceforth, it shall be known that every single one of us with broadband, a monitor facing away from the door and 15 seconds of alone time has made the conscious decision to view bad, crazy things.

"Try not to despise us. We are but pathetic slaves to our private parts and putting us in front of a box that conjures up tits and fannies is the same as putting a labrador in front of a pile of sheep droppings."

Addressing the wives and girlfriends of the world, he added: "You can at least console yourselves that most of us have the integrity not to buy Nuts, FHM or any similar publication that dilutes the sexual objectification of women with asinine Jimmy Carr interviews and pictures of people who've just cut their thumbs off.

"We are, if nothing else, men of principle."

Last night women were responding to the statement with a mixture of weariness and incredulity.

Teacher, Emma Bradford, said: "I've looked at my boyfriend's internet history enough times to know that X-hamster isn't a website about recently deceased pets. Then again, perhaps it is..."

She added: "But I can't believe that my lovely cousin Roy, who works with sick animals and is unfailingly polite, would ever want to watch Tera Patrick on the receiving end of - and I believe this is the technical term - 'a relentless pounding'."

Roy Hobbs insisted: "I do and I have. A lot. But do not hate me, even though I have failed you.

"We men are like Frankenstein's monster, flawed in conception and doomed to corrupt all that is beautiful.

"A bit like the last half hour of Spunk Buckets 14."

Saturday, 25 September 2010

*cue evil laughter and lightning*


because nothing says hardcore like a 2.1 Billion Hp shield ;D

Thursday, 23 September 2010

U3S verdict on Little Big Planet 2 Beta

I'll keep this brief as you can read plenty on LBP2 Beta all over the Interweb, but as you know here is the place for warts and all verdicts...

Story Mode: they gave us a couple of proper levels and a challenge, some new play mechanics which were great fun, the level design was top class and left me wanting MUCH MUCH more.

Front End: there were some blocked off areas and silly bugs in the navigation, a new skinny font on loading pages and such which didn't look right at first -but who cares and once finished will no doubt look stunning.

Backward Compatibility: I didn't expect this: your whole LBP 1 profile, sackpeople, stickers, objects, materials, pod, levels - EVERYTHING - is carried over. From the forums some people had minor compatibility issues, this was something the beta was there to test, but it was for most a completely painless and impressive achievement.

Level Design: I've not done much with LBP 1 level design (I made a car and a weird caveman thing which didn't work) but this was expanded in a mind boggling way. Just loads of new mechanics, which is clearly what fans of this stuff want. I had a quick look and will be going in again.

User Levels: now the Beta has been with people for a couple of weeks, some impressive levels have been posted, including an FPS or two and scrolling shooters. Given that levels won't be carried over to the live game in all probability, people have put a lot of time in and may well need to repeat efforts. Good on em!

Overall: Even at this early stage it's clear this is no lazy update - if you loved LBP1, you'll love LBP2 and feel just as impressed all over again.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Resident Evil 5 with Move - FAIL

So, after being largely indifferent to Move, I just got back my lend out of Resident Evil 5, and thought I'd look at buying Move to play through the DLC I picked up too and haven't had a chance to rock....

I need to buy the Gold Edition, the Move update is not available for older editions. This is SHOCKING as the total purchase I've racked up, plus the minimum Move purchase required would add up to the following, best prices more or less on the new stuff:

Resident Evil 5 Limited Edition: £49.99
DLC - Lost in Nightmares & Desperate Escape £10,49
Move Starter Pack: £40
Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition: £15

Total: £115.48

Gutted! No way I'm buying this twice!

OK, admission: first time round it was a present, so I didn't actually buy it - but I've completed it once and I'm not going in another £55 for round 2.

Many RE5 owners will be in exactly this position - it's not right.


First Unofficial Racing Challenge?

Anyone interested in an Unofficial Racing blog to go along with the release of Gran Turismo 5 in a few weeks time? damn, it's so close i can almost taste the damp car smell and Easy Start.. I was thinking that i create a blog and post various fun challenges and races for us to compete in and we can post videos of our times up etc. I used to do this with Tourist Trophy back in the days before online multiplayer and it was always a laugh, think of it as a Power Laps board but embracing our funky PS3 powerhouse technology.

The challenges would be posted usually on a Sunday lunch time and the participants had the following week to aquire the necessary vehicle and get their times and videos posted before the following Sunday. As we now have the advantage of online multiplayer private racing we can meet up for head to head challenges  and also be such an event for us to show off our rides and battle against each other, or just generally goof around in on carts or such like. We could also have a featured car of the moment space too.

Anyway, just like throwing this idea out there for you guys, your input would be appreciated.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Halo: Reach - Initial Impressions

I found myself buying Halo: Reach on Tuesday. Thanks in part to a £20 HMV voucher (+ 800 MS points free) and a desire to see what all the fuss was about.

I've never really been a fan of Halo. I did get about half way through the first game on PC and played a tiny amount of Halo 3, but the series, especially the multiplayer, never really grabbed me like KZ2 or the Modern Warfare games did.

So, for £19.99 I thought it was worth a punt and so far I have been pleasantly surprised. Here's what I think so far

Main Campaign
Currently on mission 3 playing through on Heroic difficulty. The campaign is pretty decent so far - some nice open environments punctuated with action 'bottle necks'. I'd heard that the AI was meant to be good, and whilst this is true of some of the more powerful enemies (the guys with the laser swords are complete bitches) your squad AI isn't quite as impressive.

One of them did manage to drive a jeep without crashing into too much scenery while I manned the cannon, but they are prone to glitching into the environments or standing in some random spot whilst you try to take down 7 waves of enemies on your own.

The main feature I've yet to try out in campaign is co-op. Up to four players can take control of Noble Squad (with scaling difficulty apparently) and blast through the game.

Controls are fairly standard, though I do miss the option of aiming down the sights and cooking grenades. Some guns let you zoom in (like the default magnum pistol), but others don't - clicking on the zoom button brings up a 'binoculars' view.

There are a few issues - some of the cutscenes suffer from slowdown and whilst the particle effects are nice, some of the environments can look bland. Everything has been running smoothly in gameplay moments though.

As I've not played through any full Halo campaign before, my knowledge of what's been done in previous games is fairly limited. Whilst it isn't groundbreaking, it has been a polished, enjoyable romp so far. What I've really taken a punt on this for is...

So far I've been really impressed with the multiplayer. I'd wager that Bungie actually spent a lot more time on this than the singleplayer campaign.

If you're a fan of customisation and options then this is probably the most well developed console FPS you'll play. I'm nowhere near getting my head around it all, but there seems to be a game type for everyone.

I’ve been online with some of the guys from the Edge forum, and so far I've played straight-up team deathmatch (called Slayer in Halo), a 'first to XX kills' team game (SWOT), Capture the Flag (on a custom made map), a Counter Strike-style bomb planting game (always a great mode) and Invasion, which I’d describe as similar to Battlefield BC2, whereby you must capture/defend certain points of the map, steal an item from the enemies base, blow a certain structure up etc…and the map expands as you take more objectives.

The controls feel less ‘floaty’ than I remember form Halo 3, so you have a bit more heft to your movement. Not KZ2 levels, but enough to give you adequate feedback and help you navigate round the levels. Speaking of which, I can’t really comment on the levels yet as I’ve not played them enough, but Cage is really fun and suits smaller Slayer matches.

I should also quickly mention Forgeworld, which is basically a level editor/creator (hoping to get my hands dirty with this soon) & Firefight. FF is a mode I’d never played before, as it was included with ODST. It is great fun though – trying to battle through hordes of enemies in a survival type game. Pairing this mode with jetpacks and infinite rockets had me chuckling – I hope the jetpacks in KZ3 are this much fun.

There’s also Halo Waypoint, which manages to outdo even the great community features of KZ2. As well as tracking your/your friends stats you can unlock avatar/ingame goodies, upload and share videos and screenshots, watch replays of recent matches etc…it’s really well thought out.

That’s not even scratching the surface really, but as you can see, Bungie have basically taken all the best modes from the past 15 years of FPSs and given you the option to play them as you see fit.

I’m really excited about getting more involved in the multiplayer (probably at the expense of playing through the singleplayer) and having a go at creating a map in Forgeworld – I’ve set my sights on a ‘racing mode’ and recreating Bowser’s Castle from Mario Kart or a track from F-Zero!!

In summary I’d say don’t listen to the hype of fanboi nonsense. If you are curious about Reach (like I was) and you can find it at a suitable price, give it a go. You'll find me online taking on that most important of roles for my team - Bullet Sponge!!


3D Ridge Racer 7 Update

Namco Bandai announced today a Ridge Racer 7 update that will up the game's visuals to 3D. The update, called "3D License Ver.," will be available on PSN on October 1 for ¥500.

Attendees at the Tokyo Game Show can sample the update in advance.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Pain and Peggle, Peggle and Pain

Pain and Peggle both cheap in the store this week, if you ain't got em get em...

Peggle is a top party game even in single player, fighting over the controller stylee.

Pain is.... unique. Perfect for sniggering at mindless cruelty. Yay!

I'm glad I picked up Worms 2 Armageddon last week, network multiplayer is fixed - should have been patched in the last Worms really, but I'm forgiving them now I've got my grenades on. Campaign mode is easy from 1 to 30, then the tough 31 to 35 are much more fun. Just 34 to go and I've been soooo close....

Monday, 13 September 2010

Seth Green on Dragon Quest IX

what have you been playing lately? i've done my first 6 or so hours in DQIX and am really enjoying it, it looks great, the controls are dead easy with a nice item management system, random encounters are avoidable or not depending how you roll and the character customising works well. Story looks like it could be good, spent an hour or so playing then 'the event' happened and the titles started to roll, typical Square Enix i guess ~:)

Monday, 6 September 2010

Your One Stop Flash Shop

Don't like buying your Flash Cards etc from Johnny Foreigner? Well, we now have a solution for you, located on a floating disused coldwar nuclear submarine parked just off the south coast of the UK and posted through the sympathetic island of Guernsey distributers (Royal Mail Registered Post)

Items are dispatched usually on a next day basis. happy shopping.