Wednesday, March 27, 2013
A reboot of a renowned franchise is fraught with danger. You not only have to meet the desires of the long time fans that have implanted in their minds what the game should be about, but bring it up to scratch with what is currently being used in the industry. For Tomb Raider it appears that the ridiculous breast size is out as well as the true dungeon platforming of the past in return for a truly gripping story and more varied gameplay that pushes Lara to her limits. Getting the balance right was a mighty task that could threaten to tarnish the Tomb Raider reputation if this game was a flop. After sitting glued to the television for the duration of the story I can say this isn't the case and Tomb Raider is everything I could've hoped for and more.
When Tomb Raider was originally revealed at E3 I was truly blown away. It looked absolutely gorgeous and the realistic direction of the franchise looked like a brilliant decision. Seeing a short sneak peek showcasing a vast environment that was full of detail may have been a shining light among many repetitive areas. This is not the case and I spent countless times just stopping and admiring the view from where I was situated. Environments are constantly changing and you will be moving through dark caves lit only by the torch in your hand to vast expansive open areas. Standing on the edge of a cliff and looking out over the desolate island highlights the huge draw distance and amount of detail put into every nook and cranny of this game.
Lara's interaction with her environment is taken advantage off at every possible opportunity. I love games that go to that extra effort to manipulate the protagonist and not just give them one base animation for movement. From everything to bending to get under rock ledges or crouching at the opportune moment to sneak up on an enemy she is aware of her surroundings. Character models are top notch not only for the main characters in the story but also even the enemies. Small details such as hair swaying in the breeze or blood and dirt covering Lara after she has escaped from the grasp of the enemies are all reasons why this is such a beautiful looking game. Damn, I never stopped being impressed by it.
A game where you spend over 10 hours listening to a girl screaming and breathing loudly sounds like it would be irritating. The groans of pain and yelps of dispair let you feel empathy for Lara as she is pushed to her limits in an attempt to escape the island. The voice acting is outstanding in this game and manages to convey the magnitude of the situation to the gamer. Lara is a girl who is facing emotions and situations she hasn't previously come across and must react to them quickly. Talking to herself and others who are part of her posse of stranded survivors explains the story to you. Her supporting cast don't reveal as much as Lara since they kind of come and go but you will generate a real connection with Lara's feelings and emotions.
The musical score works extremely well in collaboration with the tense moments of the game in particular. For a game that is meant to be purely an action platformer I found myself tensing up in moments where you didn't know what was about to happen next. The score played perfectly into these moments with upbeat sounds turning it into more of a horror game instead of action. I felt like it added an awful lot to the game and couldn't possibly fault the sound and overall presentation of the game.
I decided that I would enter this reboot of the franchise with an open mind. Too often I have found myself disappointed by imaging it as more of a HD reboot of the same game instead of bringing it into this generation of gaming. I expected quicktime events and the big explosions that enhance the action in moments that would seem fairly mundane without it. I am glad I came with no expectations because it allowed me to truly experience the amazing adventure you undertake as Lara Croft. Too many games try to drag you in by the action which leaves gaping holes in plot lines, if they have one to begin with. I found Tomb Raider gripping from a gameplay point of view, but also felt emotionally connected to Lara's hardship and the struggle to escape from the island.
The premise of the story is you and your crew are looking for an escape from the island they have become shipwrecked on. They become split up and Lara must quickly transform from this scared, innocent girl to someone who has the ability to take on extreme danger without a second thought. The first hour is all about building up to this point where Lara kills her first person. This is an emotionally tense moment and you will encounter many of these throughout the game. I found it gripping and showed a regretful side of Lara, revealing some darker demons rather than a ravaged killer which is something too often portrayed in gaming. Having to toss up between gripping decisions tears Lara apart and seeing it unfold it thrilling, even if you have no choice in the path taken. Story twists are everywhere and it kept me guessing at every turn. There was a point where I genuinely believed the game was ending, only for it to end in tragedy for the crew and further hardship as they battled to unlock the secrets of the island. The only downside of the story is that the other characters are under developed and don't feature the same emotional attachment that comes with Lara. It is expected seeing how the majority of the game is based around Lara, but the cameos they provide don't bring true meaning even though you can sense a deeper meaning behind what they are doing.
Let's get this straight, Tomb Raider is definitely a linear game and all the talk about exploration may fool some. To get from point A to point B there will be a sole path you must take to reach there. Along the path there may be the odd alternative path that leads to one of the many collectible documents, artefacts or GPS caches, but they will always point you in the right direction. For those who enjoy an open game, you will find most pleasure traversing the open areas that are set out to perfection to test your brain to solve the puzzle of how to reach the areas you need to. This can sometimes be simple of require some clever manipulation of the environment to pull it off.
Platforming plays a big part of the game, but really comes to the forefront in the secret tombs that you can discover. The one true off the path section of the game brings the hardest puzzles to Lara as she attempts to find the treasure at the end of the trail. I liked these moments because you aren't worrying about death and its more about using your wit and skills to get past the puzzle. They gave me a sense of deja vu and I felt like being in the similar hidden tombs of Assassin's Creed, something I always strived to complete because they were a really fun part of the game.
Accompanying the platforming segments is often a fair bit of action. Without revealing too much of the story there are people out to get you and Lara is forced into some pretty brutal situations. With a bow & arrow, shotgun, handgun and assault rifle at your disposal you will learn skills to take down these enemies masterfully or with simple brute force. How you do it is up to you, I was fearful that they would reward stealth far too heavily but I felt capable of going with either approach in most situations. The game would give subtle hints as to when it was best to go stealthily or perhaps wait for a group of guards to walk past that exploding barrel, but then the reins were handed over to you.
Once you finish the story I felt like I wanted to go back to the areas I had previously visited and look for collectibles, finish upgrading my weapons and completing my skills set. Collectibles are generally a time consuming exercise I don't wish to participate in but Tomb Raider makes it fun and rewarding to find them. There is so much to talk about that I could go on all day. Quick time events aren't too intrusive and bring the story together with some exciting moments that perfectly reflect what you are heading into. Gameplay is varied and you won't find yourself doing something for longer than necessary. The story flows and the positives vastly outweigh the negatives here.
What about the multiplayer you ask? It is bland, feels tacked on and will not last more than a few months once everyone moves on. The worst decision Square Enix have made in a long time is the choice to put multiplayer inside a single player experience. It is best if your eyes never stray to this mode as it is a mere scratch on a near impenetrable force that is the single player campaign.
When it comes down to it, this was a game I wanted to see through to the end. Games too often lead me dragging my feet towards the finish line instead of sprinting with a strong desire. Tomb Raider gripped me with both hands and didn't let go under the credits were rolling. The graphics are milking the last drips of power out of this generation, the story is well crafted and runs smoothly while also making me feel emotions I never expected to experience in a video game. The action is a heap of fun, while linear, but that hardly matters when everything is placed for a reason and you have the smarts to use it to the full potential. While there are some more strong games coming out to close this generation, I personally see Tomb Raider going down as one of the strongest performances to come out of 2013. I can't recommend this game enough, go and play it already. The single player is worth it and we can just forget about the atrocity that is multiplayer.
Graphics - 9.5/10
Sound - 10/10
Gameplay - 9.5/10
Overall - 9.5/10
DICE REVEALS NEXT GENERATION OF BATTLEFIELD – NEW BENCHMARK IN GAME DESIGN, MULTIPLAYER ENGAGEMENT
Battlefield 4 to Deliver Human, Dramatic and Believable Action, Powered by Best-in-Class Frostbite 3 Technology
SYDNEY, MARCH 27, 2013 – Only in Battlefield™ can players go through a building instead of around it or eject from a jet and take out the enemy mid-free fall. Those incredible gameplay moments that blur the line between game and glory can only be created by players, and occur only in Battlefield. DICE, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), today announced Battlefield 4™, a genre-defining action blockbuster launching in Spring 2013. Powered by the advanced technology of DICE’s proprietary Frostbite™ 3 engine, Battlefield 4 offers players a glimpse into the future of interactive entertainment – a future that is more human, dramatic and believable than anything before it. With more than 65 million players worldwide, the Battlefield series has consistently been praised by critics for its world-class multiplayer gameplay, and is recognized as the only game that allows players to own land, sea and air.
Battlefield 4 is a seminal moment for the Battlefield series as more award-winning, multiplayer game design elements are incorporated into the single-player campaign. In single-player, gamers will experience huge environments, a playground of destruction, access to an arsenal of vehicles and the ability to direct squad mates. Taking a page from the social aspect of multiplayer gaming, the single-player mode will now track players’ progress, adding an element of persistence and friendly competition to the campaign.
The game made its world debut today with a staggering 17-minute gameplay demo, available for view at Battlefield.com. The demo begins as the player – Recker – opens his eyes to discover that he is trapped in a rapidly sinking car with three of his squad mates. Shooting the window is the only way out. Panic and fear are pushed aside as Recker makes a difficult decision – take the shot and recover the intel but risk that not everyone will survive. The emotional demo features a cast of characters unrivaled in interactive entertainment. Players will learn how to work together in both the Campaign and Multiplayer, issuing squad orders and comparing achievements in both experiences. Adventure and Competition will unfold through a series of beautifully crafted locations constructed with some of the best art and sound design in modern shooters. All of this is only possible with Frostbite 3 – a new standard for interactive entertainment in 2013.
“We are so humbled and proud to debut Battlefield 4 on a global stage with simultaneous events in San Francisco and Stockholm. To be this early in development, and to already be so polished is a huge achievement for the DICE team and reflection of their passion and commitment to driving the franchise forward. Today’s demo was just the beginning -- we have so much more in store,” said Patrick Soderlund, Executive Vice President, EA Games Label. “It is thrilling to witness peoples’ reaction when seeing the game for the first time. It really makes you realize that we are at the beginning of a whole new era for gaming. As artists and craftspeople, we are focused on creating a dynamic, open design that brings people together with amazing, surprising unscripted moments that they’ll talk about for days. That’s the beauty of Battlefield.”
By pre-ordering Battlefield 4 at any participating retail outlet, gamers will receive a Premium expansion pack at no additional cost*. DICE also announced today Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe, an Origin™ exclusive special edition that includes the base game and bonus in-game digital items. Players that pre-order Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe* on Origin will also receive the Premium expansion pack as well as access to the exclusive Battlefield 4 multiplayer beta.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Ah Crysis, known arguably more for its amazing graphics than anything even remotely related to the actual gameplay. The original Crysis was an exquisite game that opened up large areas and let players tackle the FPS genre through whatever path they liked. Crysis 2 came along and took a more linear path that was in line with other FPS and was said to have been a design choice due to the limitations of also developing for the consoles. The negative feedback has been taken on board by Crytek and Crysis 3 takes the best of Crysis 1 and mashes it with Crysis 2 to create the ultimate game in an abandoned New York City.
The real strength of any Crysis game is the sheer beauty of the areas you visit and overall polish. Crytek have done another excellent job that not only shines on beefed up PCs but also leads itself to being one of the best looking games on a console. The first level is fairly tame but it’s not until you are launched into the stunning jungle landscape inside the Liberty Dome that you will feel the full force of Crysis 3’s graphical power. I was blown away with how damn good absolutely everything looks. It is hard to find a fault, especially when everything down to the blades of grass are crafted with love and precision. How will travel from areas of open expanse with the sun shining down on you creating a blinding view if you look up at it to dark caverns that are infested with CELL and Ceph.
This game becomes more personal than the titles before it and due to this there is more interactions with human characters. You will be spending a lot of time with your sidekick Michael Sykes (Commonly known as Psycho) and his character looks brilliant and has detailed facial animations. It’s always easier to create alien races like the Ceph because you have nothing to compare it with, but the human characters are much better than those in Crysis 2 and show the all round improvement in Crysis 3.
I’ve never really been able to fully appreciate the sound in Crysis before this game. It has always been about the graphics, but there were moments when I got to experience the amazing work that has gone into it. Guns sounds fierce and powerful, the bow & arrow will whiz through the air. You are first introduced to the Ceph in long grass, hearing them leaping around and their shrieks is terrifying since you don’t know where they will come from. The voice acting in this game is very well done. The interaction by Prophet and Psycho is top notch and I thoroughly enjoyed the enemy yelling for their life knowing that a cloaked superhuman was nearby ready to kill them.
Crysis 3 follows on from the story of Crysis 2, but sets itself up nicely so that first time players (or even those who failed to finish Crysis 2) can jump straight into the game and not feel overwhelmed by the story. The fact that this is the first Crysis title to really attempt a story with meaning brings it into being almost a new spin-off completely. Prophet quickly finds himself being saved by Psycho, who had his nanosuit stripped off him by CELL, the evil corporation controlling what is left of New York. This story travels alongside Prophet’s hunt for the Alpha Ceph and everything flows in nicely. While shorter than Crysis 2, the story is better paced and definitely gets you invested in whats happening instead of the lacking story of Crysis 2.
One negative I had with Crysis 2 was that when I found myself in an open gunfight the controls would irritate me. I don’t know because I am used to FPS like Call of Duty, but I couldn’t really find myself enjoying single or multi player without going for a full on stealth approach. I feel like Crysis 3 has slightly tweaked not only the difficulty but also controls to work better on a controller. Modding your weapons and abilities can happen without going into menus, but it is slightly more detailed than last time. You can play stealth and be really successful, yet also jump out with armour on and not find yourself dead within a matter of seconds.
Probably the best new feature of the game is the deadly one shot kill weapon the bow & arrow which can be used while cloaked. It sounds overpowered but ammo for it is sparse so you can’t rely on it all the time, especially in later missions. The bow can fire a variety of arrows to retrievable regular tips to electric charged tips that electrocute those in water or explosive tips that blow up all nearby CELL or Ceph upon the explosion. While it does make the other guns in the game fairly useless in all apart from big gun fights once your cover has been blown, killing someone with an arrow never gets old. You feel really powerful and you know what? So you should, Prophet doesn’t own a nanosuit for no reason.
Crysis 3 for me essentially fixed everything that was wrong with Crysis 2 and has provided a more balanced experience. The campaign is well accompanied by the strong multiplayer offering which will be familiar for those who played multiplayer on Crysis 2. The game makes good use of the cloaking and armour abilities used in the single player campaign and those who are willing to put in the time to get good at it will be rewarded. New players may find it daunting at first but there is definitely a lot of fun to be had.
Crysis 3 has made me fall in love with the Crysis series all over again. Bringing back large open areas in the form of New York perfectly complements the more linear path where Crytek wants to force the action at you. The mix between the two works well and I’m glad they went this route. The graphics and sound are mindblowing as always and the addition of a meaningful story takes the game to the next level. Is one of the finest FPS I have played in a long time and I couldn’t recommend it enough while we wait for some amazing titles to hit next gen.
Graphics - 9.5/10
Sound - 9/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Overall - 9/10
Friday, February 22, 2013
The Metal Gear series has been a top franchise for Sony for many years. The Xbox 360 user base has only recently been let on to the games after the HD Collection was released last year. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is the not only the first ‘Rising’ spin off to the main stealth series but also the first game developed to be released on the Xbox 360 at its launch. Where Metal Gear Solid is a serious, stealth based game, Rising is the complete opposite and you should not launch into this title with any thoughts of MGS in your mind. This is not a stealth shooter, this is a full on action title that is full of crazy over the top moments.
I am a big fan of the top graphics possible and playing the MGS HD Collection on my Xbox 360 is hard since the games are really showing their age graphically. There are no such issues for MGR however with Platinum Games putting in a lot of effort to make sure the game lives up to the lofty standards. Player models are stunning and watching a cut scene and seeing the hair flowing on Raiden actually reminds me of Final Fantasy in a way. In game the fast pace doesn’t reduce the quality of the graphics as you move with ultimate precision and player models represent the ferocity of it quite well.
The environment is also quite beautiful, especially the outdoor settings in most of the chapters. Dark environments can seem quite bland but luckily this is a game that wants to embrace colour and put you in the limelight rather than lurking in the shadows. MGR shines where there is action happening. Whether it is the gruesome decapitation of an enemy or a massive explosion, the wow factor never gets old and I love to see it happen time after time.
Metal Gear Rising has some very good voice acting to go alongside the excellent character models. Even though the story is absolutely ridiculous and you will most likely care little for it unless you’re a dedication MG fan, it’s still nice to have. The sound effects that accompany the game give a real sense of power and destruction as Raiden slashes through everything from opponents to fences, poles and more. Destruction is well backed up by the noise to match.
From the word go this game is brutal, this game is action packed and this game will keep you on the move constantly. Despite it being a disappointedly short 5-6 campaign, the one positive is that you will never feel bored or are simply grinding your way to the next chapter. Everything is over the top and far from serious, but it feels purposeful and I love that Platinum Games weren’t scared to make this type of game even though it was carrying the Metal Gear logo.
For the short adventure you follow the story of Raiden, a cyborg, in a world adventure to stop a terrorist group that are kidnapping humans and causing havoc to America’s political standing. When you finish the game are you going to care about what has happened? No. Will you even understand how you arrived at your final crazy boss battle? Most likely not. But you will have a damn good time getting there and in an action game like this I couldn’t honestly care less. The game is fun and I half expect Japanese games to not cater to my storytelling needs so I went in expecting this. There are sly moments that are there solely for true fans of the series and they will be able to respect the cameos and conversations made during the adventure.
Combat is what makes MGR the fun it has become. Raiden runs around the chapters, most of the time using the boost trigger that pretty much acts as a freerun mechanic like in Assassin’s Creed. This can be used to slide under enemies and initiate combat as well as being used to deflect oncoming bullets and attacks from enemies. You have light and heavy attacks and using them in conjunction with each other will prove to be the most effective method of fighting. Killing so many people allows you to initiate the awesome blade mode, which freezes time and allows you to be a brutal son of a bitch. Blade mode slows down time and allows you to unleash mayhem on all of those around you. Slicing enemies literally slices them into as many pieces as your heart desires. It is a brutal, yet easy kill that comes in handy during boss battles but never gets old seeing the destruction against regular foe.
Action is around every corner. Whether it is another group of enemies or a huge boss battle (these arrive at regular intervals), the game always wants to keep you moving. This fact contradicts two areas of the title that I am perplexed by. Raiden has a main weapon that you will use most of the time, but also can equip a secondary weapon. The downside is that if you want to use this secondary weapon you have to hold down the left bumper and it physically stops you in your tracks. It can’t be used in the fly and trying to aim a rocket launcher while you remain stationary against a charging cyborg dog does not bode well for all involved. The other negative in MGR is the sheer length of the cut scenes. I know they are attempting to tell a story that is drastically over the top, but I don’t want to be sitting there for more than a few minutes watching it all play out. They do a good job or incorporating it during the levels but the start and end of each chapter can go on for a bit too long.
Launch this game expecting a long, heart filled story with lots of tense moments and stealth gameplay the Metal Gear series is known for and you will be disappointed. Rising is a spin-off to the main series and I am so glad Platinum Games made sure this was the case. Revengeance will be over just as soon as it begins, but the journey you take is over the top chaos and that is exactly what the intention was. You won’t remember the story but really, who even cares! Slices cyborgs into millions of little pieces never gets old and being accompanied by great visuals makes this an excellent game that may go unnoticed in todays market, which is a real shame. I recommend checking this game out for some stylish hack ‘n slash pure fun.
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Overall - 8/10
Monday, February 18, 2013
Dead Space is a series that doesn’t exactly hold a dear place in my heart. A childhood of being freaked out from games that some may not even call scary has left me in a place where I can’t ever truly enjoy horror titles. The fact that I am walking down a dark corridor knowing something, somewhere is about to jump out and try to devour me always leaves me worried. Despite this fact I’ve played all the Dead Space titles and enjoy them for the action and try to dilute the scared little boy inside of me. I was quietly looking forward to co-op in Dead Space 3 as taking on the necromorphs with a friend would make it less painful for myself. It has come under some criticism however, so did Visceral Games pull it off?
The one aspect nailed constantly by Visceral Games is the brilliant atmosphere created in their series. Every single environment you enter has a purpose and the smart layout creates many opportunities for the game to simply jump out at you. This is all reinforced by some brilliant graphics that enhance the experience. Eery lighting in dark corridors to the haze and reduced vision you experience in the portions of the game played in the ice create that sense of urgency and danger you encounter. The game is crystal clear though, with everything looking spectacular and not simply bad and hard to distinguish as a way to create terror like some games try to pull off.
The musical score and sound effects do an excellent job of supporting the visual setting to create an amazing atmosphere. Everything from the silence interrupted by your footsteps to the eery score that calmly plays in the background before moments of terror sets up the sense of danger very well. Of course they use the amplification of noise at the entrance of an enemy, but this is to be expected (even though it will still provide the odd scare). The voice acting is also top notch even if what they saying isn’t of the highest standard. At least they fit the personality of the characters they play.
Dead Space 3 follows on from the story told in Dead Space 2. After a quick introduction to the game again you are put in the shoes of Isaac Carter, the main protagonist of the story, and forcefully made to fight against the Markers and to rescue your missing girlfriend. For those who are new to the Dead Space franchise the third entry will be pretty confusing for you, especially at the start of the game. My co-op partner had little to no clue what was going on except the basic plot line of what we were doing in this game.
The weakest point of the game is the story. We meet Isaac Carter alone, after cutting himself off from others for a long period of time. The reasons for happenings and conclusions that occur in the first chapters of the game are unbelievable and don’t assist in answering questions for long time fans, let alone newcomers. Towards the end of the game answers seem to just slot into place and it seems like everything is going perfectly to plan a little too well. The struggle and big revelation never comes as everything conveniently works out well for those involved. The fact that they also push irrelevant side quests and object hunts on you makes an arduous story even longer than most would like.
Put the story behind you and Dead Space will really shine where it always has, combat. Coming across an enemy is fierce, brutal and will have you in a frenzy as they run towards you. Firing off a clip of bullets may fail to kill a necromorph and you must resort to last ditch bashing in the hope that you come away from the fight unscathed. A real unique area of Dead Space is that the headshot is an irrelevant target for the player. After being trained to always aim for the head you must fight that urge and go for limb dismemberment as that deals more damage and slows down the AI. After you progress through the game a bit you can craft weapons and upgrade them in a mechanic new to Dead Space 3. This is done by collecting resources along your trip and using them at select crafting stations. This adds variation to how someone will play a game and encourages multiple play throughs.
The biggest feature of this title compared to previous entries is the addition of co-operative play to Dead Space. This is first and foremost a horror game and the entire premise of a game like this is the feeling of isolation to get the user terrified. Going through the game with a person next to you definitely removes the fear factor from the game simply because you have protection if need be. Playing Dead Space 3 solo is still an option and will provide the true Dead Space experience if people want that. However having Isaac Clarke team up with the new character John Carver provides an action packed experience with memories you can share. The story definitely works better with another player taking on Carver and even those who want to play through the game solo should at least attempt it with a fellow companion.
Dead Space 3 annoys me. Not only is it a beautiful game that creates a stunning atmosphere that can terrify me when playing alone but also ramp up the spectacle and create an intense action experience. This is highlighted by the great combat and surprising fun that is provided by playing the game with a friend. It is a real shame that the game is let down by a weak storyline, especially after Dead Space 2 was strong in this area in my opinion. That being sad you should easily be able to overlook the story and irritating side missions that want you to find a lost item just one too many times. There is a great load of fun to be had and you would kick yourself for missing out.
Graphics - 9.5/10
Sound - 9/10
Gameplay - 7/10
Overall - 8/10
Monday, December 3, 2012
Tech today has always been about linking all your devices together. From your consoles to your iPhones and such, it's always more fun when you have to option to take control of all your media and tech from one station. This is why there are programs designed to link up your desktop to your PS3 and other devices along the same lines. However, when it comes to some tech, the borders of licenses and patents always clash, and you end up having to go through extreme lengths just to make each program get together. For this little tutorial you'll learn exactly how to sync your iPod with Xbox 360 and how you can play movies and music through this connection. You can also watch TV on your iPhone and iPod device by downloading certain apps.
The Program To Make It Work
First off, there is an alternate way to make this work. You see, your iPod can also double as a means to store information as it acts as a storage device. The space that is not taken up when you store music or movies is empty on the iPod itself. If you upload any info on that space without the use of iTunes then it stores it away on the free space and acts like a USB or a portable hard drive. You can transfer your movies and music right on to the hard drive of your Xbox this way. However, sometimes this method does not work, as the two devices are at times incompatible.
The other method is through the use of another program from the Xbox marketplace. There are tons to look through and depending on your region; the download should be around the 400s for the US and the 200s in the UK. Just head on over to the games section of the Xbox marketplace and scroll down until you hit a game called 'Optional Media Update'. This will be the program so just download it and get the transfer started. The description should read something like 'play movies and music from your iPod'.
When you're done, hook up your iPod to the Xbox 360 and run the program. It should be able to see your iPod and play any media from that device. The problem with this method is that you can't replicate the results through the iTouch or an iPhone. It really is just limited to the iPod and that's just the bad news.
So there you have it, an easy way to make the best of your gaming console along with your iPod. Beyond the iPod syncing, you can also take advantage of the console you own through charging your iProduct. A few tweaks in the system and a quick modification should turn your Xbox into an all-around media center much like your PC. If you own another iDevice and would like to learn about syncing it to your Xbox as well, check out AppsPirate to learn how to do it properly.
A quick disclaimer before you try anything though. Make sure to follow instructions on mods down to the dot and make sure you're looking at reliable sources instead. If you do something wrong, those mods can destroy your console and a software replacement might take a lot more of your time, and in some cases, your money.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Despite being one of the most popular genres in gaming today, the war setting of a FPS is one most often explored away from the launch of the latest Call of Duty title. Electronic Arts are the only company brave enough to take on the Christmas periods in recent years, with moderate success coming from Battlefield 3 and 2010's Medal of Honor to some degree. Medal of Honor: Warfighter is the sequel to the latter title and aims to reveal the true hardship and danger involved in being a Tier-1 operator. Trailers and gameplay footage from pre-launch showed a beautiful game that is going to have all those massive action packed set pieces we are used to, but sadly it has failed to completely live up to the hype.
The one true shining light in Medal of Honor: Warfighter is the outstanding graphics throughout the entire single player campaign. As long as you take the effort to install the HD content before starting the game, you will be witness to a showcase of what the Frostbite engine can offer. The cut scenes especially are absolutely stunning and at times can mislead you into thinking it is a television show you are watching and not a videogame. Character models are incredibly realistic and everything from gross movements to fine movements such as lip syncing are spot on.
The campaign is a non-stop action sequence aimed at showing exactly what the Frostbite engine is able to deliver. Right from the start there will be explosions and timed events that aim to provide a visual spectacle to the viewer. You either love this or hate it, but MoH: Warfighter does it as good as the best of them. Explosions constantly rocking your screen deliver the danger you are constantly facing and these little visual vibes take the delivery from good to great. You will be travelling through a large variety of locations which are all stunning. These range from dark dense pathways to a more open environment that has the sun pulsating in the background. There are a few low res areas that dampen the game slightly but it will take some nit picking to look negatively upon the overall package.
Player animations take a leaf out of Battlefield 3's book and aim to make you less stagnant than the basic set of animations provided in other FPS games. These games generally don't allow you to take advantage of the cover provided throughout levels. It is merely a setpiece that can be used to hide behind to regenerate your health. In Medal of Honor: Warfighter you can actually peek around cover and use that to shoot at enemies with protection. This is an intuitive design that should be in more games. Running, jumping, going prone and stabbing enemies all use fluid designs that perform more like their real world counterparts and makes it all just that little bit more believable.
The audio in the game is commendable but doesn't really do anything to make it a true standout in this day and age. The voice acting in the cut scenes and in game are nicely done, but sadly the dialogue is confusing and you will more than likely not even pay attention to it after a while. The guns sound great and the explosions from weapons will rock you with a good sound system. Bullets whizzing by you provide a sense of danger. The audio is at the same high quality as Battlefield last year essentially without really improving on it.
After looking at the game you would be forgiven thinking this is going to be a solid experience. Sadly the overall package Danger Close have tried to deliver is a failed attempt at providing all angles of the Tier-1 experience. In trying to show 'behind the scenes' into the emotional aspect of life as a solider the entire story becomes irrelevant and confusing to even follow what they are trying to say. The game starts off with no introduction, thrusting you into a short mission shortly followed by an attempted dramatic cut scene that quickly shifts to cocky soliders preparing to go into battle. You have no idea why you are fighting or what is actually happening and it becomes frustrating. It doesn't really improve and you won't find yourself getting attached to the various characters in your control. A stronger sense of direction and true introduction to the Tier-1 operators was probably needed, but sadly this games now strongly relies on the action.
Once again, MoH: Warfighter fails to completely hit the mark with the gameplay. The first thing you will notice is that the campaign is short, extremely short. I finished the game in around 5 hours and found no incentive or motivation to complete it again on one of the two extreme difficulties unlocked upon completing the game. I personally am a big fan of these games that mix up the gameplay with the sniper sequences, boat/driving/flying areas and explosive scenes that really get the adrenalin flowing. Warfighter does these brilliantly and are a definite highlight in the game, but the space between these are filled with mundane shooting. Enemies are complete idiots who just stay in the same spot and basically wait for you to shoot them as they pop up from the exact same bit of cover. There is no choice in this game as you travel down a predetermined path to dispatch wave after wave of enemies. It becomes boring and only the knowledge that something cool was around the corner kept me going on.
Multiplayer is another area that seems tacked on to provide a good experience, but again nothing that we haven't seen multiple times before. Being able to choose to play as a member of the special service from a large range of countries (even Australia) is very cool and the way co-op has been introduced into the game with a teammate are the real positives out of this mode. Battlefield 3 was about teamwork but knowing that there is one player who has your back and vice versa really emphasises this point if you want to be successful. Once again, this could be promising but some poor map designs and mediocre selection of modes and innovation leave a lot to be desired when Halo and Black Ops II are commanding everyones attention this Christmas period.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is a game full of promise that ultimately falls short when it comes down to it. In a genre where you need something special to stand out, it just fails to push the envelope and ends up becoming just another title. Sure the graphics are something special and the explosive areas of the game are a heap of fun, but the body of the game fails to capture what Danger Close have set out to achieve. A disjointed storyline that never really draws you into the experience is at the root of the problem. You will find this game fun in parts, but if there is only one shooter you can afford to get this summer then you may be better off looking elsewhere I'm afraid.
Graphics - 8.5/10
Sound - 8/10
Gameplay - 4/10
Overall - 6/10