Friday, 29 October 2010

Lara Croft: Guardian of Light

Hey there,

This installment of Tchez game reviews will be based around the latest Lara Croft game, Guardian of Light. Guardian of Light was released on the 18th August 2010, for download only through Xbox or Playstation 3.

Firstly I must say that I was slightly skepticle about buying this game after watching the trailers. The game has taken a sudden change of view and is based on a aerial camera view, completely changing the way the player looks at and interacts with the game. Originally I thought this had disaster written all over it, but after a mere few minutes of playing I could see it was anything but.

Guardian of Light has kept the same values of the previous Lara Croft installments, basing it around puzzle solving and minion killing, but given a slight twist on the collection of items and weapons. The game functions on a point system, giving the player points for solving secret tasks, or killing multi enemys in a small amount of time. Before the start of a level the player is given a series of tasks to complete for rewards, these rewards consists of weapons, relics, and artifacts. For me personally relics and artifacts make the game so much more exciting for the player, as if turning the game into an RPG. The relics offer the player a bonus of speed/power/defense/bomb power depending on which one you choose, where as the articfacts offer a change of weapon fire such a scatter shot, power bullets, power bombs, bouncing bullets etc. It is then up to the player to decide which one of these are most suited for the situation.

Another great part to this game is the recently introduced co-op play. It allows two players on the same console to join forces with Lara and a new character named Totec. This is the first time in Lara Craft history that two players can work together to solve puzzles. I personally love the way they have integreated this into the game, bringing a whole new level of challenge to the game.

Overall I believe this basic yet addictive game was a great purchase. For only £9.99 through the playstation store I'd recommend any to give it a go.


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What Gaming Can Learn From Minecraft

I will admit this up front: I am addicted to Minecraft. I cannot stop playing. Collecting, crafting, building, and demolishing little pixel-y blocks has pretty much taken over my life. The beauty of the game is that it’s broad enough to accommodate varying play styles, whether you want to burrow like a mole, or go charging into danger like a drunken viking. Hiding from pixel-y monsters in a dungeon of my own making seems safer than venturing out in daylight, even when I need supplies. But that’s just me.

Why does it hold my attention like it does? I have a few ideas. A big part of Minecraft’s appeal, to me, is that it is very much like virtual Legos. You can build almost anything, and unlike Legos, they don’t even necessarily have to be attached to anything. They don’t even have to obey gravity. Add to that using your Legos to fend off monsters and survive each night, and you have magic. All things the video game industry seems to have forgotten.

Minecraft seems simple. But the pixels and blocks that hold the world together are just there to mask a fairly deep crafting system, as well as a single player mode that is constantly trying to kill you. It starts small, you need so much of one thing to make another. But then it kind of snowballs. You can combine certain materials into others, or into tools that make it easier to collect materials you need for other items. Then, kids, you are hooked. Much like drug dealers giving away the first taste for free to lure in potential buyers, just playing around with the crafting system will wind up eating hours of your time.

The resource mangement is perfect. You have plenty of item slots to start, and if you want to squirrel stuff away for later, you can always build a treasure chest or two. Run out of something, though, and you’re going to need to plan. Torches? You’ll probably need torches. And a pickaxe. Possibly a shovel. Definitely a sword. Do you leave your craft box, or take it with you? Do you need your furnace? How about all that wood? Buckets? Everyone needs buckets.

Everyone will not have the same Minecraft experience. When you first start the game, it builds the world from scratch, and throws you right in the middle of it. Nothing will be in the same place for another player, or in multiplayer. The world is entirely yours, to do with what you please. Or to die horribly while wandering it, depending on if the monsters have any say.

There is quite a bit the rest of the gaming world can take away from Minecraft, or at least pay attention to. Granted, I realize it’s still under construction, so to speak, but it’s already gotten so much right that it was worth mentioning. The loot, the world, the monsters, even your pixel-y little character, all hiding video game crack underneath the low-rez graphics. I can only imagine what will happen when the game is finished, other than me losing hours of sleep.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Microsoft looks to take on steam!

Hey there,

Just been browsing through Digg and found a nice news article that could shake the gaming world. It looks like Microsoft are setting themselves up to take on steam with an online game on-demand website. The system looks to be integrated into the already existing Xbox live store that can be used with Microsoft points.

I personally think this is exciting news from Microsoft and can't believe its taken them this long to do in the first place. Being a much larger company I feel they're going to take the gaming on-demand theme above and beyond any expectations people may have for them.

What do you think on the idea?


Friday, 22 October 2010

Call of Duty: Black Ops

The great game series Call of Duty will be making its next appearence in the coming days. Its now 17 days until the newest installment of Call of Duty is released, and I'm sure we're all anticipating greatness. The game has been named Black Ops and will be based within Vietnam, Cuba, the Arctic, and Russia. This will be the first call of duty game to be set in the Cold War era.

Its been said the player assumes the role of various characters during the single-player campaign, changing perspectives throughout the story. The playable characters are special forces operatives conducting black operations behind enemy lines. In this way, the player's characters will have their own traits such as voices and shadows.

The multiplayer side of the game will be using near enough the same system as the previous games with experience points and unlockable rewards. Something new added to the system is COD Points. COD points can be used to buy new guns and accesories for the character, but they can also be gambled in a free for all based playlist called "Wager Match", which is composed of four game modes.

The game is looking to be a smash hit within the series, its only competitor will be the new medal of honor installment which has just been released a few weeks before Black Ops. Only time will tell how the games will turn out!

Amazon are offering a great deal on pre-ordering at the moment, go check it out.

Tune in soon for a full game review.


Thursday, 21 October 2010

New Gaming Blog!

Hey there,

Welcome to my new gaming review blog. As a games designer, aswell as a tester I feel a need to share my knowledge with others around me. Im new to blogging but I can asure you the blog will be up and running in no time.

Within the blog you can expect to find:

- All new gaming reviews
- Gaming design techniques
- Game design textures
- Up and coming game trailers

I'll be looking to add more over the coming weeks!