Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-settings.php on line 512

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-settings.php on line 527

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-settings.php on line 534

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-settings.php on line 570

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1244

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1442

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/cache.php on line 431

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/query.php on line 61

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/theme.php on line 1109

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Http in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/http.php on line 61

Strict Standards: Non-static method UnnamedOptions::unnamed_init() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-content/themes/unnamed-special-edition-10/functions.php on line 642

Strict Standards: Non-static method UnnamedOptions::unnamed_install() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-content/themes/unnamed-special-edition-10/functions.php on line 77
XBox 360 archive at Nerdtales
Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0098951/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Archive for the 'XBox 360' Category

Gears of War 2

November 24th, 2008 by Marcel

The game came two days ago in the mail and I had a lot of fun during the weekend. So much fun that I finished it already. The graphics are even more than awesome. From all the games I have seen on the 360 as well as on the PS3 this one is so far the most astonishing. Gameplay is almost flawless with a few problems here and there, especially during the sections that include vehicles, where the controls feel a little bit clumsy.

Unfortunately the AI doesn’t keep up with the quality of the rest of the game. There are often moments where squadmates stand in the middle of the battle and do nothing but watching what I do. Which can be frustrating when you are fighting against Reavers, Grinders other big Locust forces. This makes the game hard in an unfair way. But then this doesn’t happen too often so it may be annoying at times, so Gears of War 2 stays fun until the end.

GoW 2 is definitely bigger and more badass than it’s predecessor. Huge boss fights. Over the top sections like riding a Bruback and wreaking havoc with it. Tough and engaging fights against hordes of Locust foot troops. The only thing that really fell short was the story. But there will be a third entry to the series which hopefully takes care of that.

On educational gaming

July 3rd, 2008 by Marcel

There is something that I like so much about games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, beyond the fact of getting a glimpse of the feeling of having an instrument as penis replacement, and that is to (re)discover awesome songs. Sometimes these are songs that I love dearly but haven’t listened to in a long while. Other times I didn’t know of them before.

For example, I was never a fan of The Rolling Stones. In fact I disliked them, just that I wasn’t clear myself about the reason. Guitar Hero II featured “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’”, GHIII had “Paint It Black” and now Rock Band has “Gimme Shelter”. And all of them are totally awesome. Those rythm music games are indeed a very good education on the history of rock music.

I wonder how many people, who listened to rock just occasionally before, have discovered bands for themselves to like and listen to more often. Probably a lot. To be honest, everybody who doesn’t feel for “Don’t Fear The Reaper” must be dead inside.

The Land of Opportunity

May 5th, 2008 by Marcel

Over the last days I had my fair share of playtime with GTA 4. I am over the 30 hours mark and still only got 47% of game yet. At least according to the ingame statistics. Usually I would’ve already given up, as my patience is not very strong with overly long games. But not so with GTA as it has so many little details that make you come back over and over again. I don’t want to spoil anything of the story here now so I’ll describe the stuff in general.

The main missions are vary varied and consist of every thug job you could possibly think of. Now it’s in the nature of things that the number of different mission types is still at some point limited. So a general critique on repetitive mission design could be valid. But it is not. Unlike what Ubisoft for example did with Assassin’s Creed, Rockstar knows how to keep the missions feeling new and fresh, even when you have to replay them because you failed at the first attempt. Ubisoft went the cheap way and everything is always the same including the voice acting. Not so Rockstar. When you retry a mission, the lines spoken by the characters now are different from the lines spoken before. The more crucial missions mostly have at least two ways to solve them, although you often read them up in some internet forum afterwards just to let yourself know what an uncreative idiot you were for not doing it the other way.

The design of the city also helps of pushing the feeling of repetitiveness away, as the surroundings in form of traffic patterns, streets and available cars make even very similar missions quite different. And when you’re not doing any of the main missions, the game still has a lot to offer. Actually I should say the city has a lot to offer, as the city is the game. You’ll meet a lot of different people in Liberty City, some of them might become friends often depending how you acted before. You can meet with them, go to a club or play pool, or you can just do some work for them to get some money. It really is up to you, but you’d miss a huge portion of the game if you ignore it. The character design is awesome and there are 2 people that I’ve met till now that I really like.

And there is stuff, that you can do, which I haven’t done yet because I am not overly interested in it. For example surfing on the game’s internet. Dating with random people - there is an internet dating service. You could also just explore the city by car to find stunt spots. And lots more that I just can’t recall at the moment. At some points it is really breathtaking as you just don’t know what to do first. But then the game gives you the freedom whatever you like most. Like getting a private dance in a strip club. Pro tip: ask for another dance two times and a surprise is waiting.

I am back, bitches!

April 29th, 2008 by Marcel

The screen is still black but that is the first sentence you hear when you fire up the latest entry in Rockstar’s long going series. Actually a guy was screaming that while getting spanked by a dominatrix, but still a fiting intro. My last weeks were stuffed with work, LotRO and usual lazyness. But this game is just too good to be silent about it. At least the first 30 minutes were. The main character is Niko Bellic, a guy from Serbia, lured to the US by his cousin Roman to find his luck in a new world.

That’s where I am right now, haven’t played much yet. In fact the first couple of minutes are introductory sequences to the game world. Still I got a good look at what the game promises. The cutscenes look great so far, the voice acting is great and Rockstar also worked on the mimics. They’re not “Mass Effect perfect” but they’re good nonetheless.

The basic plot is set. Cousin Roman is a fuck up who likes to gamble and thus owes money to a lot people I wouldn’t want to owe money to. He seems to have a cab business and problems to score with the girls, fat and strange that he is. GTA IV starts like every other entry in the series before: I am at the bottom and have to work my way up meeting all kinds of strange people. And normal people, like the girl Roman’s secretary tried to hook me up with. I fixed a date with her over the cellphone, a pretty neat tool, where you can call all the people you know the number’s of and also receive messages and so on.

Now forgive me, I have to play on.

16 Hours in

March 12th, 2008 by Marcel

I mentioned it before, Mass Effect devours time. But I had no regret yet. I left the huge space station on my mission to fight the alien race Geth which is terrorizing the known universe. The first main quest led me to the planet Ferros. A human colony was attacked by the Geth and the goal was to find out what they were looking for. So in best RPG tradition a lot of talking and fighting had to be done. Again some short but rewarding side quests were included.

It turned out that a herbal life form was living on the planet that had the ability to control the minds of people. The goal of the Geth and Saren was to obtain it. The quest led me to fight the life form in the end because it took already the control of parts of the colony’s people. This was the first time that I wasn’t happy with the fighting system and the squad AI. In the boss fight I had to kill a lot of zombie type enemies in narrow rooms. The fight system though is too slow for fast indoor fights. This led to many frustrating moments. The squad AI was annoying at times, too, because the squad mates often shot each other and didn’t want to do a thing about it. It happened often that I entered a fight and my shields were down before the enemy made a shot at me.

But besides that the mission was fun. Before I started the next main quest, which is to find the daughter of the matriach that is helping Saren, I flew to some other planets to finish side quest. I am already 16 hours into the game and I feel I haven’t seen 10% of the game. Great!

Where Has My Time Gone?

March 4th, 2008 by Marcel

Mass Effect is the perfect game to lose a lot of time. After the initial mission the game really starts off on a huge space station called Citadel. So many people to talk to, a lot of side quests which are fun and rewarding. The pace and narration is spot on. I am over 10 hours into the game and have just left the station on my quest to fight the Geth.

I love the presentation of the game. Usually I get bored pretty fast with the dialog in RPGs. Not this time. I am talking to everyone I can talk to. The facial expressions and the voice over correspond perfectly. The fight system is great so far, not too easy but also not too hard. The only thing that frustrated me in the beginning was the lack of explanation on the upgrade and skill system. There should’ve been some in the manual for a game with so many possibilities. But that is just a minor flaw in a great game so far.

I am too curious

February 26th, 2008 by Marcel

Today I had to bring Devil May Cry 4 back to the rental shop. I managed to beat Dante finally after many attempts but couldn’t finish the 11th mission anymore. As I don’t want to pay another 10 Euros for an additional week, the game has unfortunately to go back. But I’ll keep the save game on the HDD so that I can borrow the game in a couple of weeks from a friend and finish it properly. It may be not the pinnacle of gaming, hack&slashs are however pretty addictive.

On the weekend my damn curiosity led me to have a look in yet another game. I didn’t have a PC for 2 years now and my iMac never let me regret it. I hadn’t upgraded to Leopard yet but Saturday was the day that I bought the new version of OSX. With it comes Bootcamp which made a Windows installation possible. With the prospect of having Steam and it’s huge back catalog again, I decided to run Windows on the iMac. The installation was pretty easy, although it took some time. Having Steam installed the Orange Pack smiled at me alluringly. I am a weak bastard so I grabbed my credit card, entered the 16 digits and after a night of downloading I finally had the full HL2 goodness on my Mac.

I played HL2 when it came out 2 years ago so I was more than curious how Episode 1 would fare. And although the first 2 hours are not the best in the HL franchise they’re still on a very high level. The art direction is refreshing in a time, where the Unreal 3 engine dominates with it’s bright colours and shiny bump mapping everywhere. An apocalyptic yet comprehensible story finishes the good impression so far. I am still in the city, on my way from house to house looking for a way to leave the rotting town with the citadel in the middle.

Yet, Episode 1 (and 2 and Portal) will have to wait a little. From what I’ve read probably some weeks. A friend of mine gave me Mass Effect to play. Yeah, I know, the next game I started. But that is just how I am. Too curious to let a game just wait for it’s time. But I have the feeling that Mass Effect might be worth it. I played a couple of hours yesterday and it feels good, despite the flawed menus and the confusing upgrade system. I finished the first mission on Eden Prime which ended with the destruction of the sender I initially had to retrieve. Bad luck. I arrived at a huge space station called The Citadel looking for the next missions. As I’ve said, it feels great so far, even the localization - the game got synchronized for Germany - is surprisingly good and in sync with the motion of the lips.

Mindless Fun

February 24th, 2008 by Marcel

I didn’t have much time to play the last week, Work kept me busy most of the time, and when I wasn’t at work I wasn’t fond of serious gaming. So I looked for something mindless and found it in Devil May Cry 4. I rented it on Monday and played every day a couple of minutes and I am now in the 10th level, where I have to fight that Dante guy at the end.

I have mixed feelings about that game. It is undeniably fun. the controls are very responsive, the story is over the top anime style and the cutscenes are georgeous. But it often also feels bland, the graphics are sometimes butt ugly and the difficulty is very inconsistent.

Devil May Cry 1 was the only entry in the series that I played before. And I loved it. Not neccessarily because of the gameplay. But the game had style. It was the most stylish game I have ever played in a more emo-goth way. The 4th entry lacks this. And I miss it. The style made the simple hack&slash formula stand out. Devil May Cry 4 feels generic.

But it is still mindless fun and I haven’t finished it yet.

From Jerusalem to the rental shop

February 20th, 2008 by Marcel

Today I had a decision to make. Do I want to keep Assassin’s Creed for another couple of days or did I have enough of it and want to bring it back to the rental shop? To be honest it was a question rather easy to answer. After the endeavours in Acre the next mission was to kill a slave-trader in Jerusalem. As in the first two missions I had to ride to the city, get in somehow and do the steps to fulfill the tasks. The problem was that it was all the same again for the third time, with two exceptions. The first one was the boss fight, in which I had to chase the victim throughout the city. The second one being that the mission played in the upper class part of the town. Problem was, that this wasn’t really noticeable because there were still the beggars around every corner that would annoy you with the same 3 sentences over and over again.

The game suffers from two big problems. Very loose storytelling and repetitiveness. I was one third into the game but still had not the slightest idea what the story was about. Assassin’s Creed is basically a sandbox game and as such has to rely on tight storytelling to keep the player motivated. The game fails here miserably. And by god the repetitions make it even worse. When you’ve heard the same sentence over and over and over again, you feel the urge to punch someone in the face. Not to mention the identical mission structure in every city. And yeah, the game is far to easy.

Technically Assassin’s Creed is quite an achievement. There is no doubt about that. It has some of the most beautiful graphics on any system to date. Altair and the people of the holy land are perfectly animated. Although the movement of Altair has many possibilities, the controls are very intuitive and easy to learn. Unfortunately it is a little too dumbed down as the fights are way too easy.

So yes, this game is a rental. But the technical perfection in Assassin’s Creed let’s me hope that the next game will be as good as the hype suggests.

Akkon aka Acre

February 15th, 2008 by Marcel

Disclaimer: I am playing the german version. This is why some names of towns may differ. I try to translate them to English names. This is why I wrote about Akkon before which is actually called Acre.

While Damascus was nice, it seemed too clean to me. Although I was running around the slums of the town there was not much of the typical suffering in the middle ages present. Sure, some beggars, but all in all the town looked pretty friendly. Acre was in strong contrast. Standing in front of the gate the town looked dirty, dead or starving people lay around. To get into the town I had first to help a monk who was harrassed by soldiers. This led to a group of scholars to arrive in which I could hide to enter the town.

Acre was held hostage by the Knights of Hospitaller. My main mission was to kill the head of this order. I could have done this after 20 minutes but the city sucked me in. The game depicted the dark ages exactly in the way I imagined them. Suffering, diseases, poverty, hunger, polution. Everything was present and so real, that I couldn’t just move on. Instead I climbed every outlook and finished every secondary mission. There were also two informants in town that wanted me to fulfill certain duties in exchange for tips on how to kill Garnier. As I gathered more and more information the picture that was drawn of Garnier was that of an evil nazi doctor similar to Mengele.

The game also got a little bit harder than in Dasmascus. When I caused an alarm in Damascus it was pretty easy to run away. Climbing up the houses and hiding there was pretty easy. This changed in Acre because soldiers guarded the roofs of the city. But a death jump here and there and I was save most of the time. The fights got harder too as there were often 5-6 soldiers against me. I figured that counterattacks were a very good instrument to come alive out of these fights.

The actual kill of Garnier was a quite difficult task. He was in some sort of monastery where he did experiments on sick people. Fortunately I had helped a monk right around the corner before so that there was a group of scholars in front of the monastery that I could use to get past the guards. Finally in I witnessed a small scene in which Garnier talked to one of his “patients” who was in fear of the doctor. After that I entered the medical station and waited for the right moment to stab the doctor silently from behind. Escaping was rather easy: running as fast as possible.

That was that for Acre for now. Back with my master who gave me one of my skills back I am now on my way to Jerusalem.