Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Microsoft Do A Xbox 180

Well the internet is buzzing with the news that Microsoft have changed their minds about preowned games and the one per day connection. (It wouldnt of stopped me from getting one anyway)
Bellow is a copy of the post that Don Mattrick, President, Interactive Entertainment Business posted.

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions.


These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Flashback Friday - Killer Instinct


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Killer Instinct is a fighting game developed by Rare and published by Midway. It hit the arcades in 1994 and was ported to the SNES and Gameboy a year later. The story is about a fighting tournament finded by a mega corporation called Ultratech so they can test out their weird and wonderful creations oh and Ultratech also just happened to of found a way to travel through dimensions and also just happen to unleash a daemon in the process.

Killer Instinct introduced a few new gaming mechanics:
  • Double Energy Bar: Instead of fighting for 2 rounds each player has 2 life bars but at the end of the round the winners life bar does not refill. 
  • Automatic Combos: Normally to perform a combo a player has to press multiple buttons but in Killer Instinct the player can get a combo from the push of 1 button.
  • Combo Breaker: When a player is on the wrong side of a long combo they have the chance to break it by inputting a series of directions and buttons.
  • Finisher: Each character has at least 2 moves called No Mercy that are used to kill the other players. One of them can be used at the end of a combo and they also have a Humiliation.
  • Ultra Combo: These are combos that you can only start once the other player is on their second life bar and it's flashing red.

Playable characters:
  • Orchid: A spy.
  • Cinder: Criminal who's been tested on and his body is now made of flames.
  • Fulgore: A cyborg.
  • Chief Thunder: Native American revenging the death of his brother.
  • Jago: A Tibetan monk following his destiny.
  • Sabrewulf: A werewolf.
  • Glacius: An aliens captured by Ultratech.
  • Riptor: A Velociraptor-Human hybrid created by  Ultratech
  • Spinal: An animated skeleton.
  • T.J Combo: Ex champion boxer.
 Secret characters:
  • Eydol: The daemon that Ultratech unleashed. (Also the games boss fight)
If you are wanting to play Killer Instinct now you will have to track either a SNES copy or the N64 port of Killer Instinct 2 that was renamed as Killer Instinct: Gold for some reason. Or you can wait till the launch of the Xbox One as it's getting a reboot!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

V/H/S/2


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Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find collection of VHS tapes. Viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realise there may be dark motives behind the student's disappearance. 


2 private investigators are hired by a woman to find her son who has been missing for a week, she gives them and address and tells them a window round the back is always open. When the investigators get in they find a room with a laptop showing a paused video and piles of VHS tapes and TVs all hooked up together. The man says he will go search the house while Ayesha stays in the room and checks the tapes.

Between the viewing of each tape things start to slowly get worse. Who is that in the background

(Bellow are quick descriptions of each of the short films)

Phase I Clinical Trials
A man wakes up in a doctors chair after having an operation to have a camera replace an eye he lost in a car accident. The doctor informs him that he might have some glitches and see flashes of light from time to time and for that reason they have installed a recording chip to make sure, the man is worried about "private" time and asks if it will really record everything but the doctors says it's a small price to pay in return for the government paying for his operation to get his sight back. Upon returning home the man starts to imagine he is seeing things and after a restless night there is a knock at the door......who is it and what happens?

A Ride in the Park
A mountain biker is taking his new bike out for a try and films it all with a helmet mounted camera, he calls his fiancee to let her know and that they will meet up with their friends for breakfast after he has gone round the park. Everything is going fine till a woman jumps out of the woods and runs into him, she is covered with blood and screaming about her boyfriend (did he do this to her?) He gets off his bike to help her but by now she is throwing up blood and passes out. He hears around groaning and sees some people shuffling towards them, he picks up the woman but she turns feral and claws at him. He gets away but falls down and collapses. In the distance we see 2 more bikers coming down, they see him and go to help......should they help or turn and run?

Safe Haven
In Indonesian a new crew is sent to report on what goes on in a cult. They take in cameras to record the interviews but also wear hidden cameras so they can film more then what they are told they can. Not long after setting up the camera for the interview one of the men heads off outside to get another battery but while outside he over hears his fiancee telling his best friend that she is pregnant and that it's his baby! A bell begins to chime and the "father" of the cult starts preaching over a tannoy system telling the cult that "time of reckoning has finally come". The camera man goes to ask "father" a question but he flips, pulls out a blade and warns him not to do it again.......Is it just a harmless cult or is they a darker side to it?

Slumber Party Alien Abduction
A group of young teenagers are playing pranks and recording it with a camera they have some how strapped to the dog. The boys sister is looking after them for the night and the group of boys play pranks on her and her friends (even go as far as filming her enjoying time with her boyfriend). The boyfriend goes after them to get the camera back but then the power cuts out and a loud noise shakes through the house......another prank or something else?

I saw the first V/H/S film and really enjoyed it so as soon as this came out I had to get it watched. V/H/S/2 has it's fair share of "WHAT THE HELL" moments and a fair amount of gore so it's not for the faint of heart. I did feel that this film felt a bit rushed but over all there were no problems at all. If you love found footage films then get this. You will be pleased!



Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Recesky DIY TLR Camera


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This is a review of the Recesky DIY TLR Camera. I am a complete novice when it comes to photography but I have caught the analog bug and was in need of a cheap 35mm "toy camera" to get snapping. I wanted a 35mm as the film is really easy to find and can be developed on the high street. In the past I have used normal point and shoot cameras but this is completely different because it's a TLR (twin lens reflex) and you compose the picture by looking into the top of the camera and not through a view finder. A TLR has 2 lenses, 1 for taking the picture and the other for viewing.

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Well as you can see it really does come in kit form but thankfully they also sent me a small screwdriver to put it all together with. The instructions were......how can I put this? They were in broken English but then again it is imported from China and has some translation issues. I have a little confession to make here, not only am I a novice when it comes to photography but I am also a novice when it comes to building kits so I went into this not knowing if it would work at all.

While building it I only really had trouble with the springs for the shutter because the instructions were not much help what so ever and lets just say I spent close to 1 hour fiddling about with them but it was worth it.

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As soon as I got it built I loaded it up with an expired film that Emily's mum had and got snapping away, when that film was used up I loaded the film that was sent with the camera. I took both films to my local Boots store to be developed and had a nervous 2 days wait to see how they had turned out.

They told me that they were having trouble with 1 of the films and that one was perfectly fine, turns out the problem one is the expired one but I was expecting to have a few issues with that one so I'm not really that bothered. (Boots called a day later saying they are still working on it and that it should be fine in a few days).

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I didn't know what to expect with the pictures as I could of had some light leaks but it is easy to say that I am in love! I love the way the plastic lens gives a soft dreamy feel to the pictures and because the shutter and the film advance are not connected you can do multiple exposures. Cameras like this make you think out of the box and try new things.

This camera is perfect for people who want to learn how cameras work and its great for people who just want to have fun with photography because its cheap!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Why Is Fable 3 Free?


So I wake up this morning and see on Twitter that some people are saying that Fable 3 is free on the Xbox so like any normal gamer I check it out. I load up the Xbox and search for Fable 3 and what do I see......it's free! The full on demand game is free to download for Gold Members. Yea it takes up 5.61 GB but luckily I have space for it.

now this has started a fair few rumours to go around......is it their way of gaining attention for Fable 4 to be shown later today at E3? Or is it Microsoft's way of introducing free games? Or was it just a mistake? I guess we will find out over the next few hours but no matter what I will be playing Fable 3 pretty soon!

Friday, 7 June 2013

State Of Decay


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State Of Decay is a open world zombie survival horror game and is the first game developed by Under Labs.

Plot
Not really much of a plot. You start off as Marcus who upon returning from a hunting trip he notices things are not quite right. He meets up with a friend and they head off to see if they can find anyone else. The story develops how the player wants it to, missions come and go and you pick if you want to do them or not.

Gameplay
State Of Decay is different to all the other zombie games as the aim of this is to survive, you have to scavenge from huts/houses/shops or where ever you think you might find something. You build safe houses and bases with other survivors and band together to clear out the local areas of zombies.

Each of the survivors have different traits that could either help or hinder the group and you are sometimes given the decision of trying to make them leave or taking matters into your own hands.

Stamina and health are important (obvious I know). Stamina will drain doing nearly anything: Running, jumping, climbing, fighting, and can be replenished with snacks. Health only really goes down when hurt (obvious yet again) and will go back up when taking medication. Both max stamina and health can be reduced over time, staying awake and not resting will cause the max stamina to drop where as being hurt allot makes the mas health drop but both can be sorted by changing characters and letting them rest.

When you complete tacks and bring back supplies you earn influence which you can use to send out scavengers and set up outposts.

Combat
Now this is very basic but then again it should be. 1 button to attack is all you need. The main weapons you use are typical things found laying about from table legs and baseball bats and going on to crowbars and swords! You will also find a fair few guns and a fair amount of ammo to boot but just remember they make a loud noise so is it worth it to shoot and gain attention? (you can use a suppressor but they only work for a limited number of shots)

Graphics/Sound
Both work really well. The graphics are good for a XBLA title but it does suffer from very frequent frame rate drops. The sound......well don't expect large booming score and thumping tracks because you will not be getting that, what you do get is subtle gentle background music.

Conclusion
From time to time it can feel like a drag and that everything is falling down around up but I'm sure that's the point?

Good Points
  • Getting dragged into most zombie fans ideal world.
  • The feeling of despair when things go wrong. 
Bad Points
  • The glitches.
  • Frame rate issues. 
I just want to add that Undead Labs are working on the issues and are pushing for a title update to sort them out.

You can buy State Of Decay now on the Xbox Live Arcade and Microsoft Windows.






Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Netflix Challenge Day 28 - The Woman in Black


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Sent to an isolated village to tie up a deceased client's affairs, a young lawyer finds himself in a community grappling with a sinister presence.

A small British village is shocked by the death of 3 little girls. The girls were playing in an attic room when they all stood up looking like they were in a hypnotic state, they turn around and one by one jump out of the window. Arthur Kipps is a widowed father and a lawyer from from London who is sent by his company to get the paperwork to sell the large and isolated Eel Marsh House who's owner died. Arther does not want to leave his son but his boss tells him that if he does not take the job then he will lose his job. When he gets to the village the local people give him the cold shoulder and he finds it hard to find a room for the night. Mr. Jerome (his legal contact) tries to convince him to leave the job and go back to London but Arther goes to Eel Marsh House anyway and feels like he can get all the work down in a week but he starts hearing odd noises and visions of a lady dressed in black. He hears the sound of children in distress outside but there is no sign of anyone.

I think it is safe to say that Daniel Radcliffe has found the perfect style of films for him.He is amazing in this and suits the roll perfectly and I just wish that he continues his work with Hammer Film Productions and becomes this generations Christopher Lee.

I found no flaws with this film at all. Direction, sound, acting, score.....all work together perfectly to bring Hammer Horror up to date.

This film really is for anyone who has a love for horror.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Netflix Challenge Day 27 - Deadliest Warrior


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This series surveys military might across the millennia by staging showdowns between a Viking and a samurai, a SEAL and an Israeli commando, and more.

Deadliest Warrior pits 2 legendary combatants against one another. They could be a group (SAS/SWAT) or an individual (WilliamWallace/Shaka Zulu). All their weapons are tested and experts are brought in to help with the testing. Ballistic gel and fake bone are used to test the lethality of the blunt and bladed weapons where as the ranged weapons (guns/bows) are used outside on the range. They then get all the date and run it through a computer program 1000 times to find out who will be the Deadliest Warrior.

One episode featuring I.R.A. vs. Taliban caused a bit of controversy here in the UK and I think that episode was not shown during the first run of the series.

Now on Netflix they only have series 1 & 2 and for some reason don't have series 3..........the third series has my favourite episode, Zombies vs. Vampires! But it is safe to say that the outcome of that episode annoyed me just a little bit.

This show is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it, no grey area what so ever. I personally love it but my other half Emily hates it with a passion so it is safe to say that this show is aimed at males.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon


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Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a FPS published by Ubisoft. It's a stand alone expansion to the highly popular Far Cry 3. The game is dripping with references to 80's culture be it from films or music (I will go more into that later on).

The year is 2007 and the world has gone into war, you are Sergeant Rex Power Colt who is a 'Mark IV Cyber Commando' sent to with his friend Spider to investigate Colonel Sloan who was an elite who has gone rogue. You confront Sloan who then kills spider and leaves Rex for dead. Rex is a woken by a voice in his head who tells Rex that she is Dr Darling, Sloans assistant who has turned against him after learning of his plans. They team up together to stop Sloans plans on attacking the world with his rockets which are filled with the blood of the dragons that roam the islands.

Well if you have played Far Cry 3 then you will be able to pick this game up and play it straight away as the controls are the same (that's not a bad thing). The graphics are dark but neon filled, red lasers flying around and a the sky is a constant deep blood red.

To unlock weapon attachments you have to complete the hunting and rescue side missions just like in Far Cry 3 but you also need to turn off old style TV's and collect these mystical items called VHS tapes (I think a fair few people playing this game will have no idea what they are). But what I did miss was the skinning of the animals to make things but we can't have everything can we?

Now on to the 80's references:
  • Predator reference - At the start of the game you are in a helicopter firing a mini gun while "Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard is playing.
  • TMNT reference - In one of the side missions you are sent into the sewers to clear them out but come across 4 big turtles and random pizza boxes
  • Terminator reference - Rex is voiced by Michael Biehn who played Kyle Reese in The Terminator, rex also has a glowing red eye and a robotic arm (Terminator 1 & 2) oh and the opening music is just like the main Terminator theme.
  • Ropocop reference - A computer gives you a count down just like ED-209 does. The pistol Rex uses is just the same as the one Robocop does.
Now I could go on with them but I would be here all day pointing them all out and I can bet theres a fair few that have got by me.

Blood Dragon was a fantastic game and I personally couldn't put it down, I was hooked from the start all the way through the end and that was the problem, for me the end came too soon but then again it was a Xbox Live Arcade game but I think they should of worked on it more and had to come out in the shops.

You can get Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon  for PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network and Microsoft Windows and for Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade. 

Netflix Challenge Day 26 - Are You Scared?


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Six teenagers are imprisoned in a ramshackle factory where they're manipulated into deadly and gruesome situations as part of a sick reality show.

A group of 6 young people wake up in a warehouse/factory with no clue about how any of them got there. They start to notice CCTV cameras dotted all over the place but when the whole group are awake they hear a voice over a PA system informing them they are taking part in a show called "Are You Scared? and that they will have to "face their deepest fears" in order to win. What they don't know is that the challenge are not for show, the are real and one by one they must face the deadly challenges.

Well from the off you can tell that this is a blatant copy of Saw (even copy's a scene where someone has to cut a key out of themselves) but with zero talent! You can tell this was a straight to DVD film as the acting is shocking and cringe worthy. The special effects are tolerable at times but are are almost as bad as the acting.

If you want to see what Saw would of been like if it was made by people with no talent or vision then get this watched.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Netflix Challenge Day 25 - Revenge Of The Nerds


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After enduring abuse from frat boys and their snotty girlfriends, two freshmen start a fraternity of brainy, socially inept cohorts to exact revenge.

Best friends Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowe are a little bit on the nerdy side of life and are taking the big step and are going to Adams College to study computer science.  The Alpha Betas, a fraternity which houses most if not all of the football team and other random jocks (and enjoy nothing more then drinking and partying) have a little accident and burn their house down, the Coach tells them to turf out all the freshmen and move into their dorm. 

All the freshmen are now sleeping in the hall on fold up beds and are allowed to join a fraternity early so they can move out the hall. Most are successful but the nerds are left behind, they do to the Pi Delta Psi to ask for help are sent to the Alpha Betas to ask if they will take them in but little do they know that the Pi Delta Psi are in the the Alpha Betas. The nerds go to get help from the Greek Council but its president Stan Gable just happens to also be the head of the Alpha Betas and turn them down because they are not part of a fraternity. The nerds apply to 30 national fraternity's but all reject them bar 1, Lambda Lambda Lambda which just happens to be an all black fraternity agree to meet them but they turn them down, that is till Poindexter points out a bylaw stating that they have to take them on a 60 day probationary period. The nerds decide to throw a party to show to Lambda Lambda Lambda that they can be responsible and this is where the fun starts.

This is one of them little cult films along the lines of Porkys (but not as crude) and is kind of like the spiritual forefather for films like Van Wilder and the American Pie series.

Yea the acting is not the best out there but what do you expect from a film like this? Special effects? hmmmm.....the only thing I can think of is when a nerd is flirting in computer class and makes a 2 computer people hold hand and dance and to be fair it was not that bad at all.

So to sum up it is a little bit dated but still really enjoyable.




Saturday, 1 June 2013

Netflix Challenge Day 24 - The IT Crowd


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Aided by a tech-illiterate manager, a pair of basement-dwelling dweebs makes the most of life in IT at a corporation run by a cloddish new owner.

Set in the fictional Reynholm Industries, The IT Crowd revolves around the lowly IT guys who work from the basement. Maurice Moss is a genius with no social skills what so ever, Roy Trenneman is lazy and hates working (Have you tried turning it off and on again?) and then we have Jen Barber who is the Head of IT even though she has no clue when it comes to computers. The show also has the boss of Reynholm Industries: Denholm Reynholm and his son Douglas.

I just love it! Every episode had me laughing out loud. The writing is great and the comedy is very British and at times reminds me of the older comedy shows like The Young Ones and Fawlty Towers.
Really don't know what else to say other then watch it and enjoy!