Archive for the ‘Robbo’s Rants’ Category


The most wonderful time of the year

December 28, 2008

So as Christmas rattles towards us at a spectacularly alarming rate, we find ourselves finally free of impending releases and can take a good look at what’s been released in the last 3 months and sift through the glut that publishers and developers decide to throw out all at the same time in poorly calculated attempts to wrestle your hard earned pound from your grasp and deflect said pound from rivals pockets. Some I’ve played, some I want to play, some I won’t play until they hit the bargain bins as I’m tight/skint but let’s have a butchers anyway. In the interest of keeping short attention spans happy (probably killed by this intro anyway) lets see if I can do it in one-line-review/prize description from Bullseye stylee.

Left 4 Dead – PC, Xbox 360

Shoot Zombies into a gooey mess while cacking your pants in this ultra-violent yet enjoyable multiplayer horrorfest.

Dead Space – PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Event Horizon meets Resident Evil 4. Oh yes. Oh yes indeedy.

Prince Of Persia – Pc, Ps3, Xbox 360

Foppish Arabian prince with American pretty boy accent runs along walls while avoiding death thanks to hanger-on token game female.

Midnight Club: Los Angeles – PS3, Xbox 360

A fun yet rock hard street racer which no bugger bought.

Fable II – Xbox 360

Want to get married, fart at people and do menial, mind numbing, tedious labor-intensive mini-games and not have to bother with good things like actual questing and getting fat loot and all the good things that make RPG’s great? Well, come on in then!

Tomb Raider Underworld – PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Posh bint jumps around temples looking for Thor’s armour and hammer while shooting endangered species.

Gears Of War 2 – Xbox 360

Musclehead marines take on underground army of musclehead alien types with chainsaw guns. Again.

Call Of Duty: World At War – PC, PS3, Ps2, Xbox 360, Wii

Call Of Duty 4 with added tanks, dogs and Wehrmacht.

Mortal Kombat Vs DC – PS3, Xbox 360

If you’re not going to kit out the Mortal Kombat chimps with Kryptonite rings so you can rip Superman’s head off you really, really shouldn’t have bothered.

More to come as I plough through them.


All new* Nintendo DS revealed. Sigh.

November 3, 2008

*Of course, when we say ‘all new’ what we really mean is ‘exactly the same with very little in the way of useful improvements’. Go go Gadget Kotaku Post!

During their Fall Press Conference today, Nintendo have – as expected – announced a new version of the Nintendo DS. Called the Nintendo DSi, it eschews the GBA slot (boo!) in favour of a slight downsizing (it’s a little thinner) and a range of improvements. The handheld’s screens have been enlarged, and will now be 17% bigger (at 3.25 inches) than those found on the DS Lite. As for the rumoured additions, both have proven to be correct, with “audio enhancements” made to the handheld, while it will also now include a .3 megapixel (640×480) camera. And that’s just the start of it.

The DSi also features an SD memory card slot, making it possible to take pictures with the DSi and then view them on the Nintendo Wii. The DSi features a built-in browser, and it’s possible to download games and keep them on the DSi.
For digital delivery purchases, there is a DSi Shop, from which users can download DSiWare from. Pricing categories for the DSiWare are: Free, 200 points, 500 points and “Premium” or 800 points. Customers will get 1000 free points to spend at the DSi Shop that are good until March 2010.

The DSi will be released in Japan on November 1. It will retail for ¥18,900 (USD$180), and will be available in two colours, white and black. It will be released in other


It’s hardly surprising that Nintendo have shoved out a revision of thier existing hardware as they’ve been doing it for years, neither is it surprising that it adds not much yet enough to get the hardcore, slavering fanchildren running to the pre-order mobile. Companies like Nintendo and Sony need to keep their products fresh, it’s common business sense, but how many devices does a person need that take pictures or plays music? Yeah the screens are bigger and they’re going for the whole convergence thing with the memory and connectivity with the Wii (which should have been made more of literally years ago), but no GBA slot? I can see why but that’s just rubbish.
Still, come spring 2009 people will be chomping at the bit for them.



November 3, 2008

I was fortuitous enough to receive a beta key for the LittleBigPlanet beta on the Ps3 (not that it’s on anything else) which gave me cause to do a little dance and actually turn on my Ps3 for the first time in about a month and half.
For those not in the know LittleBigPlanet is a platform game with a difference. Aside from being ridiculously cute and narrated by Stephen Fry, the feature that seems to be pushed to the fore is the level creator. This phrase does not do said feature justice. Let me explain:
The platforming section of the game is a very amusing physics puzzle based jump-around-and-collect things-athon with some freaky characters and some brilliant art direction. As you flounce around the levels you come across various collectables like stickers and objects and even costumes to kit out your Sackboy.
Ah, Sackboy. Sackboy rocks. There’s (seemingly, I don’t know if there’s anything more you can do with these) pointless things you can do with him, like change his facial expressions and move his arms about and what have you, but he’s so bloody adorable it’s sickening. I want a Sackboy toy, a plushie, a knitted doll, ANYTHING! Currently my Sackboy is a semi pirate with a ‘tache like Swearengen out of Deadwood.
Anyway, so yeah, you run about, collecting ‘stickers’ and materials and whatnot, collecting little orby things for points and having wierd races on rocking horses on wheels. Wheelie horses? You get the idea. Once I’d had my fill of the floaty gravity platforming goodness I moved onto the creator.
Well I tried to. Instead I had to wade through 90 billion turorials. But you know what? It needed doing, because the creator is phenominal. It’s not just some weak little toolkit with which to create uninspired dross, this thing is phenominal! Seriously, the sheer amount of bits, bobs, odds, sods, gubbins, whatnots, thingummies and doodads you have at your disposal is amazing. And you can make textures by photographing them with the Eye Create camera. When I get through the rest of the tutorials I’ll post some more about it, but there’s something niggling at the back of my head.
Who wants to play this?
It’s amazing. It’s a truly brilliant piece of software, but the creator (which is what’s being pushed, directly or otherwise) requires a ridiculous amount of dedication to get the most out of. It’s simple enough to use, and most people will pick it up in an hour or so, but to make the levels that do it justice might require OCD levels of graph paper planning and though, not to mention the amount of time it’ll take to put it together and tweak it. Sony are pinning a lot of hopes on this, and I think it may be something of a disappointment to them. I hope it isn’t, because it deserves as big an audience as possible, but if they think they’re going to, say, drag Wii owners over to the PS3 with it they’re going to be sorely disappointed.



September 16, 2008

Obligatory collector’s edition too.

World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King on DVD-ROM.
The Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, a 208-page book featuring never-before-seen images from the game.
An exclusive in-game pet: Frosty, the baby frost wyrm.
A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, the Wrath of the Lich King intro cinematic with director’s commentary, and more.
The official soundtrack CD, containing 21 epic tracks from the game, along with exclusive bonus tracks.
A mouse pad featuring a map of the newly opened continent of Northrend.
Two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game March of the Legion™ starter decks, along with two exclusive cards available only in the Collector’s Edition

Official WotLK page

My love of WoW at the moment is on something of a rollercoaster; some days I’m adoring it, some days I want to throw my PC out of the window through boredom and frustration. There’s the new patch coming before WotLK that actually contains some of the things that were supposed to be included in Lich King, like Inscription profession and barber shops and all that which is a bit odd. PTR patch notes are at the official site here


Death Magnetic hits Guitar Hero III. Robbo gnashes teeth.

September 9, 2008

I have a very active dislike for Guitar Hero III. I bought GHI as soon as humanly possible (read into that what you will) and adored the hell out of it. It was one of those games that was truly something new and exciting, even if the concept wasn’t. If you get me.

Anyway, Guitar Hero II wasn’t as good and Guitar Hero III is the downright abomination of the series – so it’s with much annoyance that the band most beloved by myself are releasing their new album in it’s entirety this Friday (in the US at least) for that most accursed of rhythm action games, and actually gets bonus solo’s!! The hell!??!


Metallica’s upcoming ninth studio album Death Magnetic hits Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock in its entirety this Friday, the same day the album goes on sale.

Better still the Guitar Hero downloadable album will include two exclusive renditions of Suicide & Redemption with extended solos by James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett. And to wrap up the good news, Activision says the album will be fully forward compatible with Guitar Hero World Tour, which is quite a trick considering the additional instruments in the new game.

“We’ve been working very closely with Metallica and we’re extremely excited to offer Death Magnetic not only in its entirety, but also with the exclusive recordings of ‘Suicide & Redemption’ as downloadable content to Guitar Hero fans,” said Tim Riley, Vice President of Music Affairs for Activision Blizzard. “We’re proud to be setting a new precedent for our two industries, making an entire new album available in two different mediums simultaneously.”

Death Magnetic will hit the 360 for 1,440 Microsoft Points and the Playstation Network for $17.99 on Sept. 12.

AND! AND! It’s going to be compatible with Guitar Hero: World Tour!?!? Fucksake.
Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh and woe is me. Guitar Hero III would be great if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s about as much fun to play as masturbating with sand paper.


More Video Game Themed Tat You Don’t Need

September 9, 2008

But have to own, this time the Space Invaders Keyboard!


From Technabob via Kotaku

“Just weeks after I got my hands on my new light-up LED keyboard, now I’m drawn to a new keyboard that I think I need on my desk. The ubiquitous invaders from space have adorned many a product, and now you can think about those aliens every time you sit down at your computer to type a memo or surf the web.

Despite the overuse of the word “Board” in ElectroJoe’s Bendiboard Retroboard Invaders keyboards, they’re anything but boring. Not only does this keyboard feature pixelated images of the retro 8-bit invaders on all the keys, it’s completely flexible, so you can roll it up and throw it in your bag for easy travel.

And if you happen to spill a can or two of Red Bull or get your orange Cheetos dust all over it, you’ll be fine, since it’s sealed, dustproof and spill-proof. Pretty much anything you can throw at these aliens should just wipe easily off the keys.

As an added bonus, these invaders won’t eat any quarters no matter how many times you press the keys. Perfect for playing a game of Space Invaders on your PC, the keyboards are available now from UK gadget retailers BB-Shopping or 101Gear for £19.99 (appx. $39 USD).”



Mythos on ‘hiatus’. Robbo cries bitter, salty tears.

July 23, 2008

Last week or so, it was reported that Flagship Studios (comprised mainly of ex-Blizzard North employees, who made the wonderful Diablo II) had laid off practically all their staff and were barelling down the one way street to closureville.  This came out of the blue to me really, as I thought they were doing ok. Looking back at it, Hellgate: London was something of a white elephant in that it was massively hyped, cost a fortune and sold bugger all. Third/first person dungeon crawlers are not big business it seems (well duh). They hoped to make their money from people voluntarily subscribing to them for better loot, access to different content and other such things but it seems that model didn’t work as well as it does for the Korean MMO developers.

The upshot of this was that the absolutely wicked free MMO they were developing (which would be the Mythos in my blog title) had it’s servers shut down on friday, with the official line being that it’s “on hiatus”. What this really means is that it’s shut down indefinitely, probably permanently.
Mythos was all but Diablo II with it’s cute, pseudo-anime clothes on. Y’see, I f**ing love Diablo II. I f**king love loot whoreing. I f**king love smushing enemies by the means of RSI inducing mouse button mashing so the fact this never made it out of closed beta before being left in the balance makes me very very sad indeed. I played the closed beta thanks to a mate lending me his account and it was immense fun and it was FREE! And now, nothing. Dungeon crawlers (Nox, Diablo, Sacred, Divine Divinity, all those and more) are niche as you like, so I suppose we should have seen a free one relying on voluntary subs falling into the infinite pit of development hell coming really. Bah.