Sunday, 21 November 2010

Gran Turismo 5-24th November. Finally, it's here!

And reports from those who have been lucky enough to get their hands on a copy early suggest that it's the absolute mutts nuts.

However, I've agreed for the Wife to purchase it me for Christmas. It's another month, but after almost 6 years I can wait one more month. I am an adult after all...sometimes...maybe...

Moving on, below are some shots of what to expect for car interiors featured in the game. I should point out that cockpit views are reserved for GT5's premium car models; of which there are about 200 or so. Bit of a downer but lets be realistic and put a positive spin on things: GT5 has taken long enough; detailing the interiors of 1000 seperate cars would be a mammoth task and although I am a little disappointed-as I like playing from the cockpit view in nearly all racing games-not having a cockpit view in previous Gran Turismo's hasn't stopped my enjoyment of the games at all.

And here is a shot of the game in action. Petrol heads are going to love it.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Blast From The Past: WRC Evolved-PS2

It might be five years old, but WRC: Evolved is still by and far and away the best 'real' rally game available, even bettering this years WRC on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in terms of delivery, style and execution.
WRC: Evolved not only features the complete 2005 WRC Championship, (including all the tracks, all the drivers and all the cars), but also features real dynamic weather effects as well as the impressive Random Event Engine.  With this new engine developer Evolution Studios were able to kick up all kinds of events during the course of any stage; from warnings of other drivers crashed or stopped on each stage, wildlife suddenly jumping out in front of you, rocks tumbling from cliff faces, water spills from broken river banks, dust and debris kicked up by other drivers and all matter of obstacles for you to navigate as you blast your way through 16 levels of fog, snow, mud and rain at frightening speeds and at varying times of day and night.  As with all the other WRC games over the years Evolved also has a co-driver who praises or scalds you depending on your performance and who, due to the random events found on each stage, is also quick to warn you of track events. The game also features real time damage and component failure which can hamper your performance; all of which adds to the sense of realism.

There is also a Rally Cross mode where up to 4 players can race in split screen mode but as good as it is it’s in the rally proper itself where WRC: Evolved really shines.  The best bit? If you’ve still got your PS2, (as any good gamer should have), then you can pick it up on Amazon for about a fiver! Bargain.

Anyway, below is a video of me going at breakneck speed through the back roads of New Zealand in a Skoda Fabia.  I’m playing the full 16 country season on professional level using manual/semi-automatic gears and from the cock-pit view. Hard as nails, (especially when you can only just see past the bonnet in thick fog and snow), but its great fun.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Kinect: Is your house compatible?

Thinking of splashing out a £129.99 on a shiny new Microsoft Kinect for your Xbox 360 next week? Well before you do you might want to check to see if you're living room/bedroom/gaming room is big enough, because if it's not then Kinect simply won't work properly and you can forget about two player gaming altogether. Hit the link below and have a watch of this rather revealing vid from Gamesradar.

Oh dear, my house is not compatible with Kinect

Even if I wanted Kinect it wouldn't work in my house because while it may be a three bedroom there simply isn't enough room for it to work at it's optimal capacity in my living room. Also, I'm not going to start moving the bloody sofas and whatnot about just to play some party games, not when I've got boxes of the kids toys already behind one and a unit with a fish tank behind the other.

If you find yourself in a similar position my advice is to stick with the Nintendo Wii or buy Playstation Move instead because Kinect could end up just being an expensive waste of time. Remember, GAME, HMV, PC World and pretty much all the other retailers don't do refunds on non-faulty goods and they certainly won't refund your Kinect just because your house isn't the right size for it.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Yes, I know it's more Mortal Kombat related stuff but...

Apparently a recent rumour, one that's neither been denied or confirmed by Mortal Kombat's creative director, Ed Boon, is that absolute bad ass Kratos from the hugely popular and frighteningly good God of War series is to make an exclusive appearance in the PS3 version of the latest Mortal Kombat game. What gives weight to the rumour is that in a recent interview Ed Boon said how much he would love to have the murderous greek god in the MK series.

If you're not sure who Kratos is and why he would be perfect for the MK series watch the following vid.

Fingers crossed, folks.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Guilty Pleasures: Mortal Kombat

I’ll be the first to admit that Mortal Kombat has seen its fair share of turkeys both in video games and on the big screen over the years, but that hasn’t stopped me from being a huge fan. From the first moment I uppercut my opponent into a pit full of spikes and watched in glee as crimson gore spurted up into the air to then be followed by a demonic voice stating ‘Fatality!’ I knew I was hooked.

From the brilliantly observed, if cheesy, first film, the TV series with its excellently choreographed fight scenes and the-more often than not-highly entertaining video games, I’ve enjoyed it all.  Arguably the most appealing aspect of the Mortal Kombat universe-and what certainly keeps me coming back for more-is the characters and the inner struggles they face between good and evil inside a rich and vibrant setting that’s bathed in a dark storyline spanning over centuries. From the ruined temples and woodland plains of Earth Realm; the seas of molten lava that make up Netherrealm; the unholy desolation of Outworld; the constant turmoil of The Realm of Chaos and the beauty of Edenia; all of which are crammed with heroic warriors, demonic Ninja’s, mutant cyborgs, gods of lightening, four armed ogres, beautiful women with a taste for human flesh and more martial art styles, blood, guts and magical fireballs than you can shake a Nunchuck at one has to ask: What’s not to like?

Okay, fair enough, as a video game the fighting mechanic has never been as polished as the likes of Street Fighter or The King of Fighters series of games but it does have a distinctive charm of its own, and one that suits the setting and the characters therein perfectly. However, when the guys behind Mortal Kombat get it right, (as they did with the Mortal Kombat Trilogy, MK: Deadly Alliance and MK: Armageddon), it works a treat, and with the new Mortal Kombat shaping up to the best MK game to date things can only get better.

It's also worth noting that Mortal Kombat was turning people into killers long before the Grand Theft Auto video games hit the scene:

On November 22, 1997, thirteen-year-old Noah Wilson died when his friend Yancy stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife. The mother of Noah, Andrea Wilson, alleges that her son was stabbed to death because of his obsession with the Midway game Mortal Kombat. She alleges that Yancy S. was so obsessed with the game, that the child thought he was actually the character Cyrax. This character, Cyrax, used a finishing move in which the character grabs the opponent in a headlock and stabs the character's opponent in the chest. Wilson alleges that this is the maneuver in which Yancy S., killed her son. However, despite the character's other varieties of finishing moves, the character Cyrax does not actually perform this move at all. The conclusion of Wilson v. Midway games, Inc. was, according to the court case report, "Wilson's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The product liability counts fail because Mortal Kombat is not a "product" within the purview-of the CPLA [...]"

And even our good friend, and disbarred attorney, Jack Thompson got all bent out of shape about his likeness appearing in a Mortal Kombat game:

In 2006, attorney Jack Thompson ordered a cease and desist to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon stating, "It has today come to my attention that the newly recently Mortal Kombat: Armageddon contains an unauthorized commercial exploitation of my name, photograph, image, and likeness within the game." In fact, what Thompson thought was an actual character put by the developer into the game, was actually created by a player, who used the game's "create-a-fighter" mode to construct a likeness of Thompson and demonstrated it in a film on YouTube. Thompson had the video successfully removed.

Whatever your thoughts on Mortal Kombat this is one fan who isn’t tired of this violent, sometimes comical slice of fiction just yet.