Archive for the 'gaming' Category


Viking Battle for Asgard Xbox 360 review

Is that a Longboat, or are you just happy to see me? I’ve thrown battle axes at Viking Battle for Asgard

Chopper Action!


Bioshock – maybe not!

After playing the demo of Bioshock I was all up for the full title, which hit the streets on Friday. But reports about how 2K decided to protect their games with SecuROM DRM technology have entirely put me off. Developed by Sony it plumbs itself into Ring 3 of the OS, and monitors data coming from the CD/DVD and also refers to an online distribution service. The original release allowed the game on two machines, and you had to deinstall it from one of those to use it elsewhere, and have the original disc. Within hours people reported failed installs and revoked codes.
From all accounts this is an amazing game, but there isn’t a remote chance I’d let it anywhere near my working PC, or any that I rely on. I know 2K has relaxed that original 2 machine limit a little, and their working on a code reclaim application if you can’t deinstall because your PC dies. But I can’t really accept that a game deserves to decide what other than itself should be on my PC (as this install does..), or that comes with such draconian Digital Rights Management. But I’m sure someone else will get to the Micro Mart review copy before me, so it won’t be an issue. I’ll let it muck up their system instead!

Update: AH! It’s already messed up, because the demo put SecuROM on my system, and didn’t remove it when I uninstalled it.  These people need a kick in the head!


Bioshock demo – yummy!

I’ve just been playing PC demo of Bioshock, and jolly good it is. If you’re not a keen gamer, or a youngster, you might not remember the original SystemShock game, which where all set on a derelict spaceship. This isn’t. Instead the action takes place in a realy weird submerged city, a sort of pre-war styled Atlantis, called Rapture. At the start of the demo you arrive when you’re plane crashes near Rapture, and you take an underwater elevator deep beneath the ocean.
So what makes this FPS different from the standard crop? Two things strike you almost immediately, even within the limited confines of the demo. The first is the level of design work that’s gone into this game, which is astounding. The starting locations are lavish Art Deco, and filled with posters, tiles, signs and statues. It’s like being a movie when they’ve given the art director his head and a massive budget. Having a few locations like this in a game is impressive, but every room, even the toilet are works of digital art.
The second, and somewhat unexpected aspect to Bioshock is the AI of the enemies. While they’re still triggered by you to appear, what they do and how they react is entirely driven by their own individual logic. Once you understand the motivations of the various creatures that infest Rapture you can use that to make them allies or confuse them into helping you. You can also hack the defence systems to ignore you and attack your enemies. Which promises a much more cerebral experience that just running around shooting everything. I feel that approach won’t get you very far in BioShock, you need to be smarter than that.
Previously we’ve seen great demos that didn’t live up to their potential in the full game, but I’m confident that Bioshock will, and might be even better.
Can’t wait for the full game!

You can get the demo here


Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (PSP) Review

I’ve put up another game review, this time it’s Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (PSP)

Insomniac Games - Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters


Steel Horizon’s on the PSP Review

I’ve been playing this game for the past 8 hours, and I’m still not sure if I’m playing something good, or a rehash of Minesweeper…

pspimg0006.jpgThe premise will be familiar to anyone who’s played a roll playing game on any format, best encapsulated in the phrase ‘the fog of war is thick today..’
For those that haven’t, in Steel Horizon’s you control a flotilla of ships, of different types, and attempt to confront the enemy ships and destroy them.
More here…


Asus in action!

A very nice person called Ben Berraondo from the Asus UK team sent me some computer goodies today.  Thanks Ben! Included in there was their new EAH2600Pro video card (below) and an Intel P35 chipset motherboard, the PK5-E wireless. I’ll be reviewing both those items for Micro Mart in the next few weeks, and I’m might be tempted to give them a more detailed grilling here after that!

Asus EAH2600Pro


RIAA slapped $68,685.23 by court – how I laughed.

riaa-communism-poster.gifThe Recording Industry Association of America hasn’t made many friends in the past few years, sending threatening letters demanding money to people under the assertion that they’d downloaded music illegally. While this activity is clearly going on, the tactics of dragging people of all ages to court on the flimsiest of evidence hasn’t strengthened their moral position, and now it’s actually cost them cash!

The case of Capitol vs., Foster could be a turning point, because it demonstrates that using the legal system in the manner that the RIAA has been doing can have unfortunate circumstances.

Presiding Judge, Lee R. West has been damning of the RIAA’s methodology in bring the action against Miss Deborah Foster in the first place, then attempting to shift the case onto her daughter, before attempting to ditch the case when it realised the Judge actually expected to be given evidence.

As such he refused to accept the case had ended when the RIAA withdrew, and allowed Miss Foster’s counterclaim to continue to it’s ultimate conclusion.

What’s crucial about this case is two presidents it’s now created. The first is that you can’t bring an action against one person and then relate that to another once in court, Miss Foster isn’t responsible for the actions of her daughter in this respect. But even more important is the idea that more than circumstantial evidence is required to prove a connection between the computer and the act, and IP numbers aren’t actually a substantially basis to bring a case like this. This brings all the other cases currently in the system into huge question. If this wasn’t bad enough for the RIAA, another case which went source on them in Florida has put racketeering and extortion on the table, which are federal crimes carrying prison time. The defendant there is also claiming control over the copyrighted material she allegedly downloaded as recompense for their actions in bringing the case, which will thrill Atlantic Records, the RIAA surrogate in that litigation.

The full Capitol v. Foster order is detailed here