Category: Xbox 360


I won't be going down to the woods today!

Naughty Bear has been rated 12 by PEGI and when you play it you will think that it surely deserves a higher rating. Now I have talked to many people who think that Naughty Bear is going to run into problems. Many people are saying that there will be some very angry parents that are not happy about the content of the game.

Poor old Naughty Bear, he has not be a very a good bear. And that’s why he wasnt invited to the Birthday Party, And this has made Naughty Bear angry! Naughty Bear is a seriously violent game, and with you being the outcast of bear island its time to kill some bears. The main aim of the game is to earn as many points as possible and to be as creative as possible the more outrageous the kill the more points you get. Points also unlock other parts of the level and is sometimes the only way to advance.   

 How can you be creative when killing teddy bears, I hear you ask. well this is the fun part of the game. You are able to set traps, sabotage things like pay phones and cars and watch the bears go up to the item you have sabotaged and then wham! Hit them with a golf cub or knife them straight through the tummy as they try to fix the broken item. It’s not all stab up teddy bears. You can also earn points by getting bears to kill themselves by driving them insane.

That's got to hurt!

The most fun I have with the game is when you are causing trouble, one of the bears might ring the bear police or drive off to get help. Unless you destroy all means of contact with the outside ie Cars, Phones & Kill anyone who gets in the speedboat. Also a good point is to watch out for Army Bears & Ninja Bears these might give you problems at times but it’s all good fun.

Now it might seem like fun coming up with as many ways as possible to kill teddy bears, but Naughty Bear has its down sides. The main problem I have is when I decide to smash a window and go through it, the camera seems to get stuck and its kinda a let down. Also a strong sense of, I have done this in the last level creeps up on you as much of the game is you repeating yourself.  This is fine if your just out to think up the most craziest way to kill all the bears and get the highest score on that level.

That used to happen to me when I was at school!

Online play is meant to be quite entertaining with up to 64 players online at one time. Unfortunately at the time of writing this I was unable to play online. So I will leave this decision to you, but saying that it’s just going to be one massive level of “nutters” trying the most craziest way to kill a bear; and why not!

I think Naughty Bear is set to sell quite a few copy’s but I feel that this game will be quickly replaced by anything that is released shortly after this title. Its great fun and parents should not buy this for your children (If in doubt check out the PEGI rating). And I feel that if 505 decide to make a Naughty Bear 2 they will have an award-winning game on their hands. They is just a few things to sort out first. This game ticks all the boxes for me, but this review is posted for everyone so I am unable to be biased.

7/10

Advertisements

E3: Microsoft…

Treyarch shows of Black Ops at Microsoft's E3.

Mircosoft’s 2009 conference was far from dull, with guest appearances form movie director legend Steven Spielberg and the two remaining members of the Beatles, and some interesting footage for their new Natal motion sensor. 2010, didn’t really bring with it any celebrities (outside of ESPN announcers/hosts Jush Elliot and Trey Wingo).

Of course, we not really here for celebrities, however nice that may be, we want to know about the games and tech…

First out was Treyarch and Activision’s new entry in the Call of Duty franchise, with a play through of part of Black Ops (due out November). The play through featured over ground shooting and underground segments, culminating with the player manning a helicopter to attack the enemy.

The biggest deal for Xbox owners, especially those who love the Call of Duty games, was the announcement that Microsoft and Activision had signed a deal meaning that map-packs and other downloads related to the franchise will launch on Xbox Live first until the end of 2012.

Epic Games’ design director Cliff Bleszinski came to talk on their currently in development Gears of War 3, showcasing a four-player co-op against a horde of Locust and

Peter Molyneux talked briefly about his Fable III, in a somewhat toned down manner considering his reputation for hyping his work to the ninth degree. Set five years after the previous game, it is due for release on the 26th October in the States.

There were brief intros and new trailers for Halo Reach, crytek’s Codename Kingdom, as well as for the six games for Microsoft’s newly re-named Kinect.

The first glimpse of Kinect was a demo of Kojima’s xbox exclusive Metal Gear Rising; that promised what Kinect could do for interactive swordplay, with Raiden making short work of humans and machines alike, before showing some precision by slicing a melon into neat segments with his katana.

Kudo Tsunoda, Kinect’s creative director, talked about how the device will help make games and the console much easier to control and play. With help from Ubisoft’s Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, and Harmonics – creators of the original Guitar Hero and Rock Band – Dance Central, the latter seeming to take its cues from the Wii budget casual title Just Dance.

U.S. sports announcers Jush Elliot and Trey Wingo turned up to announced that ESPN Sportcenter would be broadcast on Xbox Live, Sportcenter covers everything from College Football* to the NBA.

Xbox Live Vice President Marc Whitten talked – at least after his malfunctioning microphone was replaced – about what Xbox Live will be bringing to its user base, with reference to Kinect; and now it would enable you to play games without a controller, or watch a film without a remote. The discussion also went over video chat and voice activated controlling.

The last piece of news was on the – not really surprising – unveiling of the new Xbox 360, a slimmed down version of the console with a 250 gig hard drive and wireless internet access built into the machine. The console will go to retail at $199, with the current, fatter models receiving subsequent price drops in turn.

*American Football

UFC 2010

When I turned on UFC 2010 for the first time, I thought I was in one of my dreams again. I got to pick my fighters interview responses and I had a sexy lady wanting to watch and film me working out. Like I said another day in bed dreaming about the life that I should be living.

The game seems to have improved from what I have read, but since I couldn’t get any time on the first UFC title from THQ, I couldn’t really tell you.

And for those of you who are reading this and you don’t know what UFC is I shall attempt to tell you. UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world. This can include wrestling, boxing, jiu jitsu & many others. On a Friday night the UFC lads will bring the fight to the octagon. The octagon is an eight sided matt surrounded by chain linked walls. And like the game you will have to knock your opponent out or make him submit.

However if you spend many hours on the same game (like myself) you will find that the game will become very repetitive with your fighter saying the same things in interviews, you will also wish that you added that lady’s email address to your blocked list, as she will keep emailing you every week.

And what can you expect from the career mode? You can create a custom fighter, chose where you are from, and set out on a 12 year career that is filled with sponsorship opportunities, interviews and championships. And don’t forget you have to start out as an amateur of course, and make your way up to the professional ranks.

  

Another fun aspect of UFC 2010 (for me) is that I never get tired of first round knock outs, and I love the fact that you can go off to different camps around the country and work on some punches or other techniques you wish to learn.

I would like to talk about the game play for a moment, You can’t escape “button bashing” at time‘s, but the actual button layout allows you to flow between fighting styles, ground and standing attacks.

 

Online multiplayer is reported to be the same as last release (or plays very similar) but I have found the online play of UFC to be very laggy at times. Another feature that is new to UFC 2010 is that you will need a code to access these features.

The game is fun, but I feel that it is a slight letdown to the hardcore fans of UFC, but I hope that the third instalment (I would imagine they will be making a third instalment) will excite everyone. As I feel that THQ have nearly got it perfect but it’s just missing a few things.

  

Nier

 

Nier Review – Carl Padgham.

Cavia, creator of the Drakengard games – of which this game has a mild link – and the two Resident Evil Chronicles games on the Wii has come up with Nier, an action role playing game for the Xbox 360 and the Playstation3. With a cast of bizarre characters and shameless nods to well known game franchises (most notably Zelda and Resident Evil), is it something to hold near, or just a near miss?
 
 You play as Neir, a guff loner and village protector/errand boy/delivery man, whose only child Yonah is suffering from an incurable disease known as the Black Scrawl Plague, which manifests itself as tattoo-like words on the skin. You chance upon a sealed, talking magical book known as the Grimoire Weiss, and learn of a legend involving the book and its dark counterpart the Grimoire Noir and seven sealed verses. Determined to uncover these verses and hopefully save his daughter, Nier heads out into the world with the surly book in tow. Along the way you’ll meet up and join with a lady warrior name Kainé who fights in her underwear and has a penchant for swearing every other second and Emil, a young boy who – like medusa – turns everything he sees to stone.
 
 The story takes a good hour to get on its feet, and somewhat more to become actually interesting, yet it also offers the best incentive to keep playing and does get better near the end. There are several plot-twists throughout the twenty to thirty hour story to keep you guessing as to the eventual outcome and multiple endings to see. Yet some may find actually playing the game itself too tedious to bother getting that far, because though the story is somewhat interesting; the actual game has numerous problems.
 
 Firstly, the pacing is terrible and broken into dull pieces generally involving talking to the village librarian Popola to get info for the next mission. Finish the quest and you’re sent back to the village for more information and to check up on your daughter. When you are done in the village you go back out on the new quest, from which you’ll sent back to the village again; and so the cycle repeats, knocking the pacing askew in the process.
 
 What doesn’t help is that the regular enemies, called shades, are nearly brainless and generally require little more thought than a mere press of the attack button and the right direction. The majority are more of a threat due to numbers more than anything, though a few of the larger ones – with their own health bars – are more of a problem until you gain enough magic and health through levelling, after which they become a cakewalk. Also your companions in the game do not die in combat, and will always get up to renew the fight after a few seconds; they are capable of defeating enemies on their own (when they aren’t trying to run through walls), although you will have to finish bosses yourself.
 
 The “dungeons” are either linear to a fault, or else large labyrinths with little indication on where you are suppose to be going, this is hindered further by a mapping system which is not very giving with its information. The major hazard in dungeons are the enemies you’ll face, although you’ll get the occasion block puzzle, à la The Legend of Zelda, which consists of moving blocks that are blocking the door, which barely qualifying as puzzles. Occasionally the camera will go to the ceiling and you’ll face a onslaught of regular enemies from you’re new viewpoint. There’s a temple where you’re disallowed from various things such as jumping or using magic attacks in each room, it feels neat but soon becomes tedious after going through several of them all at once.
 
 Bosses offer much relief from the boredom the rest of the combat brings, as well as some needed peaks in difficulty; some bosses are quite imaginative, such as fighting a mass of spinning cubes. However they also have a habit of being overlong at times, especially when the best tactics generally involve running and jumping around to avoid their attacks and countering when they’re open. The bosses – and a few of the later enemies – also fire a stream of death orbs at you akin to something you would see in an 2D shoot ’em up game, which have running around like a loon until you realise than you can use you’re blade or certain magic to block them. To defeat a boss, you have to lower its health down until a timer appears on some point on its body, then attack that point hoping to beat out the timer, failure results in the boss regaining health and the process starting anew, which can be frustrating when you just wait to be done with it and move on.
 
 A number of side-quests are available to the player at any given time, most involve collecting items such as berries and medical herbs or killing and butchering animals for their meat or skins, while others ask you to investigate certain goings on, like finding shop thieves. You can also use seeds to grow your own vegetables and catch fish, then sell them on to those willing to buy. The only thing you get out of this is money for more items and outside of a few mandatory side-quests, none are actually needed to complete the game. The best items – healing, power boosts, etc – are all easy to get hold off, dropped by fallen enemies and in crates.
 
 Your weapons and magic can be powered-up by collecting “words” which you then assign to them in the menu, though it easiest to stick with the ones that give you the most boost to attack or reduces how much magic is used. You can also upgrade your sword in the game’s only armoury, which involves travelling across the dull fields to the out-of-the-way place as well as forking over the dough, yet you will find that any blade will get the job done and wind up sticking to the most powerful weapon of the type you’re most comfortable with and a few choice magical attacks through the whole game.
 
 Also of note is that loading times on the PS3 version are frequent and quite long, though an optional install of four gigabytes reduces them significantly (I am reliably informed that the Xbox 360 version’s loading times are as quick as the after-install PS3 version).
 
 At its best Nier looks good, especially the ancient temples, with their awe inspiring architecture, however, mostly it looks absolutely bland, like it should have come out among the first batch of games of the current generation. Textures are flat, plain and blurry; character animation is awkwardly stiff and the frame rate – time slowing while using magic notwithstanding – dips constantly. Dungeon rooms can also look identical to one-another as you try to find your bearings, and coupled with the sheer size of a few of them, this makes it all too easy to get confused as to where you’ve been and were you need to be going. Landscapes feel empty and lifeless and not just the ones set in desert environments; all-in-all, the game is not going to turn any heads in the visual department.
 
 Audibly things are much better; the main characters – Nier, Weiss and Kainé – are well voiced, although the voices of secondary characters are somewhat hit or miss. Weiss’ and Kainé’s bickering is nicely written, although Kainé’s obsession with swearing seems rather forced to make the game appeal to teenagers and becomes obnoxious in just a few lines. Emil is less worthy of attention, with a much weaker delivery, though he also doesn’t have nearly as many lines as the other characters.
 
 The soundtrack is, for the most part, excellent; though a few of the themes are on a constant loop, which does become noticeable after so long. Strangely during play through the open fields after leaving town, I came across instances where the music would skip while accompanied by low-level static, this could be solved by leaving the fields, or re-starting the game, but having to do this is an annoyance.
 
 NIER wants to be appealing and it sometimes manages to be, if not entirely for the reasons it intends, but while it embellishes itself with cues from other games, it can’t seem to decide what it itself really wants to be. The conflicting styles the game uses; the fact that the side-quests are essentially pointless; the dull combat outside of bosses and the barely taxing puzzles point to an overlong, confused mishmash of a game which could have been quite good had it been given a tad more focus. As it is, it’s merely passable and just a shade of those which it so clearly imitates.

6/10

Well we finally got our copy of FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa from EA last week. And it has taken me a little while to write this review, and i can only think of one real reason. I can’t stop playing it, which as angered some of our other reviewer’s because i won’t send it out for them to review. 

My first thoughts of this game were, oh no not another FIFA Game. I think i came to this conclusion because i went towards “the dark side” that is PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) I used to be a big fan of the FIFA franchise but something made me want to play PES and i liked it, but i can confirm that FIFA has got my vote once again.

So from the word go i became excited about the World Cup, which is strange for me as i usually watch it but don’t really care about the outcome. Of course i want England to win, but this year i am very excited about the World Cup. And i can only put that down to the fact that EA has captured all the magic of the World Cup. For me it was the little things like the music which really helped me enjoy the game.

 

As i am writing this review i have realised that i now want to play it again, but i will hold off the temptation to finish my review. As always the graphics and game play was amazing i have no complaints on these. I really enjoyed and spent most of my time playing Captain My Country. I thought it could have been a bit harder to get into the A team, but i still enjoyed it very much.

One small complaint, so EA i hope you are reading this. When will the name Ricky be added to the commentary list?

More review’s to follow, on possibly my new favourite game, when i send it on to my other reviewer’s.

I would rate this game 8/10

Ricky Stone

UK Producer GTD, Games Journalist