Sunday, August 31, 2008

17 years of football left

So I ended up buying Castle Crashers. I bit the bullet and now my pile of MS points are quite slim. There's been some talk around the e-webs about how it broken, as I have stated before as well. Due to this, I have no idea what I'm going to do about reviewing it. I really hope they release a patch soon for it cause then I'll be all over that thing. Anyways some people have found a fix for it, you can find it here apparently it works fine, I hope I don't have to do it, if I do, I'll let you know.

Gotta get back to simulating another 17 years of football.

Gamer glasses?

So reading an article over on Kotaku, I come across Gamer Glasses. I wont get into the details to much because I just linked it but I think it's a cool idea. I could see myself wearing them. How about you?

Friday, August 29, 2008

I thought it was funny

This is worth a check.


I'll be picking up Uno and Castle Crashers tonight while filming today's video blog. If your into that gimme a shout and we'll make it happen.
Even though Castle Crashers is we'll probably just play Uno. Which is good anyway cause that's how we do it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bionic Commando Review

Bionic commando is an interesting case of a game updating itself while still remaining true to the original, for better or worse.

The game follows you "Rad" Spencer on your journey to destroy the evil imperial forces but thankfully Rad has a few tricks up his sleeve in the form of a metal claw that Rad can shoot out to swing, climb, and grab hold of enimes with. It's a shame this mechanic is so fun because the controls don't make it easy to pick up and play it with newcomers.

Although it soon becomes easier albeit still annoying that when you want to shoot diagonally , like most of the game demands, you are required to come to a complete stop, not touch anything and hit the bionic arm button. A frustrating control issue revived from the original game, however to be fair it became easier with time.

However not to be the only thing to remain from the past incarnation is the top down shooting segments where you run towarda the enemy anti-aircraft gun in an attempt to destroy it, now this wouldn't be an issue if it was either a more fun or engaging level or didn't happen nearly as much as it does. This event is triggered whenever your helicopter from the overworld comes into contact with the three trucks constantly moving about through the world.

However to the games credit it is generally really fun with some interesting boss battles where they have you put your claw to use to figure out the puzzle like boss battles (which umfourtunetly they reuse the same boss in various levels). Wicked level design and some inventive guns to keep you playing. The music also has been updated with a catchy remix of the original songs. What really ties it all together though is the spectacular graphics which are easily the best seen in a XBLA game to date.

So all in all it may seem like I've just complained about the game but rest assured that those complaints are minor at best and they only are a slight annoyance when compared to the fun this game will provide to newcomers to the game as well as fans of the original


Blown Speakers 08/08/08

Shanking, not just for prison, how you can purchase your own Gears of War lancer. Why you can't blame GTA for everything, all this and more in this weeks episode of Blown Speakers

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What happens when you sip your Earl Grey tea indeed.

So after reading an article from Brad Shoemaker over at Giant Bomb about the latest game to be announced by EA Casual for the DS - Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. Now before you think, no it isn't a Professor Layton rip off, I know the name can be misleading. It's actually a platformer mixed with a puzzle game.

On the top screen is the platformer in which you need to attack enemies and jump on them to destroy them. You play as Henry Hatsworth, an english man who wears a bowler hate, monicle, and a can that has a sword in it. I think I've said enough. By killing enemies they move to the bottom screen which are then turned into a colored block, this is where the puzzle game comes into play. As time goes on, the lower blocks move close to the top screen and once they reach it, they turn back into enemies for you to attack. So you must spend time looking at both screens and knowing when to press X to pause the game and take care of some puzzle action.

To finish off I'd like to quote a couple sentences by Brad Shoemaker from his article.
One of the special moves you can invoke with a full special meter is called Tea Time! When you hit that button, Henry sips tea in front of a frantically animating Union Jack background, and then turns into a giant steampowered robot that can flatten enemies and fly around the level. I mean, what happens when you sip on some Earl Grey?
I'm really looking forward to this game and since it's been around half a month to a month since I got way excited/into a DS game, I can't wait to hear more of this.

Castle Crashers and the price of XBLA games?

It was just recently announced that the highly anticipated game Castle Crashers developed by The Behemoth is now going to be changing it's price to 1200 points. Before this, it had been announced that the game would be going for 1800 reaching a price of around $22.50 American for the game; making it the most expensive XBLA game yet to be released.

I think I speak for all of us when I say, thank god. I had been thinking about this game and it's former steep price ever since it had been announced. I had always been interested in the game but the first price thrown out there kinda shook me up. I was getting to the point where I thought that I might just bite the bullet and pay the $20+ (and being in Canada, it's a bit more than $22.50). So this new announcement greatly puts me at ease.

It got me thinking though, are games going to soon be getting their prices hiked on the 360's marketplace? I read an article today on Giant Bomb by Jeff which first gave me the news about this price drop. He went into how he might think games are now going to be hitting 1200 as the standard price now, instead of 800.

It made me wonder and somewhat agree. I could see Microsoft charging 1200 ($15 US) for these games, they know people will pay for them.

When the marketplace was first out, they were only charging 400 points for games, even ones as huge as Geometry Wars Retro Evolved, and from that the standard price is now 800. So from the beginning where Microsoft was first seeing how much people would be willing to pay for these games, to now seeing how much farther we will be willing to go. I thought 800 was a fair price, $10 (US) for a short game on the 360. I could handle that. But now with the 1200 points becoming a little popular with games like Braid and Penny Arcade even passing that, will 1200 be the new 'fair' price? $15 is getting awfully close to the price of the budget games when they hit the "Player's Choice" or whatever. I'm beginning to think a game with the story or main single player mode only reaching 10 hours at most till your going back on pure replay value is a bit much.

I'm happy to pay the $15 for Castle Crashers, but is it just because my other alternative was $22.50?

What do you guys think; will $15 become the next standard price for the XBLA games?

P.S. It's out on the 27th and I'd love to stay up for it, but I'm coming back from my vacation that day so I'll be missing the launch by a few hours. Anyone staying up?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Latest 360 update

No. It doesn't do anything. "Prepares for future growth of the service" is what Major Nelson says.

Review: Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 - 10

Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 is the sequel to the major hit Xbox Live Arcade Game - Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. It contains the same gameplay style you've grown to know and love but adds new modes and ways to think about playing. With the added elements to the game and overall visual overhaul, it turns out to be a game well worth your money.

Since the last Retro Evolved that was one of the first XBLA games to be released, fans have been awed by it's gameplay and visual style. What GW2 does is take the same gameplay and make you think about using it in new and interesting ways, together this adds for harder challenges, more to do and a lot fun. If you don't know, GW2 make you move a ship around the screen with the left analog stick while shooting with the right analog stick. the longer you survive, the harder then enemies become and the quantities grow. If things become to hectic, you are equiped with a set number of bombs that will clear the screen.

The biggest difference between GW2 and it's prequel is the addition of geoms. In the first Retro Evolved you gained score multiplyers by surviving longer and longer, in GW2 you can collect geoms to increase your multiplyer. Geoms appear after you destroy and enemy and with this addition, you are now able to get high score of unimaginable digits compared to the first game.

GW2 has six gameplay modes in it. You can unlock each new mode by playing the previous mode a certain length of time. The first is Deadline, which you start out with from the get go. It's basically the general GW style of play, but you only have three minutes to play it and unlimited lives. This mode is more of an introductory into the GW game and style of game it is.

The next is King which has you unable to fire your weapon unless you are inside small areas. When inside you can shoot as much as you like, but the areas will shrink and go away after a few seconds. This causes you to need to know how long to stay in a shielded area and how long to stay and destroy enemies.

Next is Evolved which is once again the basic GW game. This is manly what Retro Evolved was and you can go on for as long as you survive.

The fourth mode is Pacifism, which is much like the first Retro Evolved's pacifism achievement, in which you cannot shoot. This mode renders your weapons completely useless for the entire game. You must make the enemies follow you through small gates, passing through a gate causes it to explode destroying nearby enemies.

Waves is the next game and focuses on orange enemies that are on a set axis and move back and forth between walls. By adding many of these together in a line it acts as a wave and more and more of these waves are sent at you.

Sequence is the final mode and it's really anything crazy new, it's more of a level system. Each level has you fighting certain enemies and in certain orders. This mode is by far the hardest and requires tremendous skill.

The graphics have been updated since Retro Evolved to make them sharper and much more colorful. Destroying each enemies has them explode shooting sparks of their color out, combining enemies destruction can make a wonderfully beautiful light show. Each mode also has it's own music and modes like King has the music muffled unless your in a safe zone, while Evolved has the original theme but remixed. The music is probably one of the best things about this game as it's high paced and doesn't get repetitive. When you get destroyed by an enemy the music screeches to a halt and then wipes back into play. While using bombs causes the music to sound warped for a minute.

The achievements this time around are also much easier and seems to be at a good pace between all the modes. From things as easy as unlocking all modes, to things more like rub up against all the wall space in pacifism twice. One would probably have liked an achievement in the area of "get ____ points combined in all games" but this game doesn't require that. It does have a similar one that requires you to get at least a million points in all modes, but this game gets quite addictive, and just updating your high score is enough satisfaction in itself.

Another new update to the franchise is multiplayer. In each mode you can play them in co op with up to four people. There's even a mode called copilot where one person will drive the ship, while the other controls the gun. The multiplayer mode is only local and not online. Which at first glance at this game can seem like a let down. The thing is though, online multiplayer would most likely ruin this game due to all the lag that could be brought up. Any bad connection leading to the slightest lag will cause you all to mostly screw up, or die. This game is just too fast paced, split second timing and decision making to let any lag be a factor. To counter this they have made user high scores a huge part of this game. Each mode select screen shows the top high scores of everyone on your friends list. Also, during each mode in the top right hand corner you will see the highest score on your friends list so that you have something to play towards beating.

Overall Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 is a great game to continue the Geometry Wars franchise. If you enjoyed the first game, you will find this perfect will all the graphical and audio updates along with the new styles of play and gameplay modes. For 800 points ($10 US) it's definitely worth your money and will make any Geometry Wars fan and new comer quite happy.

- Beautiful graphics
- Very enjoyable music
- You get your money's worth, and then some
- Loads of different modes to keep you interested
- High scores keep you wanting to come back and play more
- Co op play adds new ways to play each of the new modes in fun and friend-included ways

- N/A

Overall: 10/10

Monday, August 4, 2008

NBA 2k6, you broke my 360

After trying to play this scratched up game my 360's disc drive is jacked up :( hopefully it will fix itself

Blown Speakers 02/08/08

Fat princesses are in high demand as we take on the pseudo controversy surrounding this game, why no Wii will be under your Christmas tree this year and what's going on with Xbox Live in this week's episode.

Also we would like to announce that our podcast is officially available on the itunes store just type "Blown Speakers" into the itunes store search bar and hit subscribe.

Gamerscore Update 04/08/08

Points you say? I have points, in fact I have a good chunk of points. How many you say? 17 615! So I think that's another like 1200 or more maybe since last update. This week was good, played (and finished) Bionicle Heroes, Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2, Tenchu Z and the first bit of Kameo.

So no, I'm not getting into Bionicle again, I've talked about that game and played it more than anyone should have. I finished it, got 880 in it and will go back for another easy 20. Don't buy it.


Geometry Wars 2 came out this week, as some of you probably know, I stayed up for it. First time I've done that for an XBLA game, ended up grabbing it at about 2am my time. This game is way fun and I totally recommend it for anyone, I'll probably be writing up the review of it in a few minutes, or sometime tomorrow night. It's deffinitly worth the 800 points ($10 US) that you'd need to spend on it and if you bought the first one for half the price, your getting six times the content. Though no one on my friends list has it yet so the huge focus it has on leaders boards is so far wasted on me, which sucks. I have 130 of the 200 points in it, they're not as hard as the first games and I think they're spread nicely between the six modes it has. Achievement wise its ok and game wise it's great (but you'll hear more on this later in my review).

So ya I got Tenchu Z, it was $5 so shut up. This game is crazy broken but I did have some fun moments when going in for the super ninja kills or whatever they're called. You can get around two thirds the achievements just by going through career, that's what I did since getting the best rating on all 50 missions seems stupid to me. Getting a few wouldn't be too hard, I just don't want to play that game anymore. I have 590 points in it and am good with that. Achievement wise it's ok and game wise it's bad.

Kameo I can't talk about to much since I just started. I understand you can get a good chunk of the points by going through the game. The game I hear is less than ten hours long, so those two factors fit together nicely. Like I said, just started, so look for more on this in the next gamerscore update.

In my video blog thing, which needs a better name, or not - whatever, I said I might stop doing this and just talk about it on that instead. I think Ive decided that I will since for the games I just listed off in this one, I wanted to get into more detail on them and talk about them more. When filming myself, I can talk more so that seems to be a good idea. I also thought I would do the video blog maybe every thursday night or friday night, or both. I guess look forward to that?