Tales from the Mass Effect Universe: Entry 3

WARNING! I will be talking candidly about the three Mass Effect games in this series. If you want to avoid spoilers, do not read any further!

Entry 3: The truncated report on Mass Effect 2

MassEffect2_coverAs this series has been on hold of late, I’ll begin with a brief recap. Having played all three Mass Effect games multiple times, and completing them virtually every way possible, I began a new journey and took the only un-travelled path left to me; full on female Renegade. I resolved to be as bad as possible, and get as many people killed as possible. How much difference would it make? That’s where this series comes in, as I attempt to keep track of my latest journey through three huge games.

Having begun my Fem Shep Renegade in style with Mass effect 1, I was looking forward to getting stuck into the second game, so I began it with enthusiasm. You probably know how the game begins; Shepard dies, Cerberus rebuilds her, and then sends her off to investigate some settlement or other. At this point, being a Renegade is fairly simple. Take the red conversation options, and kick ass. So far so good. The trouble is, after the opening is done, the game changes and makes things little more cloudy.

Mass Effect 2 introduces a loyalty mechanic which ties in to the final suicide mission, and influences survival rates. I’ve already stated my aim is to get as many team mates killed as possible, so this would mean avoiding the loyalty missions. The trouble is, loyalty missions are a fairly large chunk of the game, and I wanted to import a max level character with a full renegade bar in to Mass Effect 3, so where was I going to get that experience from?

ME2-Grunt_in_his_tank

But I don’t wanna get up and go to school

I played through the game normally, recruiting team mates, fighting the collectors, and hovering up all the side quests I could lay my hands on. Things were going OK, but not for long. You see, I hit the very wall that delayed this whole series. Everyone was recruited (Grunt was still frozen, but he was aboard the Normandy), I was close to wrapping up the story, but I was nowhere near having a max level character with a full renegade bar. I needed to do more missions.

Having already cleared up all the available DLC, the only thing left open two me was to do some loyalty missions. If I’m honest, it wasn’t a total disaster. After doing some research, I’d discovered that if I wanted Shepard to survive the final mission, I’d have to have some loyal team mates after all, so I picked the missions most likely to fill up my Renegade bar. Zaeed’s loyalty quest immediately sprung to mind – lots of innocent refinery workers to let die there – but the others were tougher to choose. Samara’s quest was the only other obvious Renegade choice. Naturally I chose to betray her, and take Morinth, although I forgot to try to romance her.

Garrus_Vakarian

Kiss your ass goodbye, Sidonis

With an internet-sourced flow chart of all the possible choices in my hands, I entered the Omega relay. First to die was Kasumi. For some bizarre reason, she was hanging around the engine bay, and died in an explosion. That’ll teach her for being in a part of the ship she’d never previously been in! Next was Thane, thrown up against the wall in his quarters after the Normandy takes a hit. Who knew shelving could be so deadly. Two team mates down, the ship crashes on the side of the Collector base.

Please don't send me down the vent shaft...

Please don’t send me down the vent shaft…

Next up to meet their space-maker is Tali, as we enter the base. With legion in the hands of Cerberus, and her loyalty mission uncompleted, she was sent to her doom down the vent pipe. Hacking the door goes wrong, and before it closes, she’s blown away by a Collector. My Fem Shep sheds no tear. I proceed through the rest of the mission trying to get both Jacob and bitch-face Miranda killed, but both of them stubbornly cling on to life. With just the boss fight to go, I have one last chance to kill one of them, but who? Jacob or Miranda?

Obviously it would be Miranda. So after killing the Human Reaper, and saving the Collector base for the Illusive Man to gain some last-minute Renegade points, we begin our escape. The cut scene begins, we’re running away, but oh no! An explosion occurs! Shepard gets up, and Zaeed pulls himself to his feet, but Miranda… she’s gone! After celebrating her death, I leap into the Normandy and head for home, safe in the knowledge that Illusive Man won’t use the base for nefarious means…

Can't believe you got me killed AND gave the base to the Illusive Man.

Can’t believe you got me killed AND gave the base to the Illusive Man.

The Game Jar Files: Call of Duty Uprising DLC

Originally published on The Game Jar.com – 31/05/2013

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Treyarch have been quite vocal about their new Blacks Ops 2 downloadable content, Uprising. According to them, it’s the most fan-centric DLC yet, and also one of the most diverse, but does it live up to their hyperbole? In this review, I take a look at both halves of the DLC, to see just what 1200mspts buys you.

The Mob of the Dead

Treyarch’s zombies mode has mutated over the years, from a simple survival mode to a progressive campaign, moving around various maps. Tranzit, Black Ops 2 standard Zombies mode, does have some story attached to it, but it’s pretty vague, and in the end what your left with is little more than a survival mode that wanders from one location to another. Thankfully, Mob of the Dead does a much better job of introducing a story to the zombie slaughter, and keeping it all tied to together. The opening cut-scene introduces you to the four characters, and their plan to escape incarceration. Not everything goes according to plan however, and before you know it, you’re hip deep in zombies.

Apart from all the usual Zombies mode mechanics (buying better guns, repairing entry-points etc), Mob of the Dead also features environmental traps scattered around the prison, workbenches to build weaponry on, and an out-of-body ghost mechanic. At various points around the prison there are electrical junction boxes which allow you to electrocute yourself (yes, really) and enter a ghostly form. Once in ghost form, you can pass through special doorways to operate switches and the like, vital if you ever want to escape the iconic prison.

Mob of the dead may have been given a sprinkling of Hollywood glamour, but that doesn’t mean it’s shallow. Alcatraz provides a perfect backdrop to the undead carnage, the run down prison looks fantastic, and does a great job of adding to the sense of terror. Without giving too much away, there are other locations, but Alcatraz is definitely the star in my opinion. I’m not entirely convinced that Treyarch have done a thorough enough job of explaining what you’re supposed to do to progress through the story, but overall the Mob of the Dead is a great extension to the Zombies mode.

The maps

Magma is set in Japanese town somewhat unbelievably located right next to a volcano, and is the first Call of Duty map to feature lava as an environmental hazard. Despite the rather cheesy scenario, the map plays very well. The layout allows for both short and long range combat, and as a result I had a great deal of fun with my Overkill based class. Equip a shotgun or SMG with an assault rifle or Sniper rifle, and you’ll be able to exploit layout to it’s fullest.

Encore is an outdoor stage and arena themed map, set in a rather gloomy looking London. Slightly grey looks aside, the circular style map plays quite well. The central stage area has a nice wide view of the battlefield, and the outer ring backstage area provides much needed cover, and the odd building for close quarters. It may not be the prettiest of the four, but it’s well balanced, and fun to play whether the mode is straight up Deathmatch, or objective based.

Vertigo takes place at the top of a futuristic office block in India, and in my opinion, is the weakest map of the four. My main problem with it is that the quality of the games I’ve played on it have been quite hit and miss. There’s lots of right angles and short sight lines, so close quarters fighters will have a field day. Again, based purely on the games I’ve played so far, it seems to work far better for Free For All matches than Team Deathmatch as finding other players feels easier, but maybe I just need to play it more.

Studio is set in a film lot in Hollywood, and features several different themed film sets, all joined together to create one big playground. Judging by lobby voting trends, this map seems to be the most popular of the four, and it’s easy to understand why. The layout is well thought out, the design is vibrant and interesting, and the terrain is varied. Whether you’re a sniper, or a shotgun wielder, Studio is fantastic fun to play. Easily my favourite map of the four.

Summary – Whilst I find the cost of the DLC a little too high, I cannot deny that the actual content is really quite good. All of the maps, whilst not being instant classics, are worthy additions, and the Mob of the Dead part takes the Zombies mode in an interesting and fun direction.

Good Points – Adds some great maps to the game, The Mob of the Dead is well realised.

Bad Points – Perhaps a little too expensive,

Why an 8? Four solid maps, and a fresh take on the Zombies mode make this a DLC worth buying – despite the somewhat high price tag.

Tales from the Mass Effect universe: Entry 2

WARNING! I will be talking candidly about the three Mass Effect games in this series. If you want to avoid spoilers, do not read any further!

Entry 2: Noveria, Virmire, and wrapping up Mass Effect 1

GiannaParasini4After wiping out the colony of Zhu’s Hope, it was on to Noveria to see what havoc I could wreak there. If you’re familiar with the game, there’s not many full on Renegade opportunities to be had, but I could continue my trend of being as rude and obnoxious to as many people as possible. First to experience my  no-nonsense approach was Kaira Stirling, every time I go through this part, I wish that I could just shoot them dead right then. I know you get to kill her later, in Synthetic Insights, but still. I ran through all the usual small missions in Port Hanshan, smuggled for Opold, spied for the Asari women in the bar etc, and took particular joy in turning Gianna Parasini down. She annoys me every time to, with her high-handed attitude. I’m looking forward to finding out whether she turns up in Illium, if she does, she wont be buying me a beer. After wrapping this section up, I moved on to the Peak 15 section of Noveria, and plodded my way through it for what must be by now the thousandth time. During conversations I took every Renegade option possible, but the only reall bump was choosing to eliminate the Rachi queen. With my Renegade score looking quite healthy, and the warm internal feeling of insect genocide glowing inside me, I departed Noveria, quietly pleased with my death-toll.

Virmire_28Virmire, lovely Virmire, let the bloodbath begin! If you’ve been reading this series, you’ll know my aim is to go full Renegade over the course of all three games. Given that, I’m sure your mind has already raced forward to that moment, and is already recoiling in horror because of what I’m about to do. So, if you’re a Wrex fan (and let’s face it, who isn’t), look away now. Yes, I killed Wrex. Brutally. In other play throughs, I’ve always saved him, because y’know, he’s Wrex, but I have seen him die once before. If the conversation goes badly, and if you tell Ashley to be ready, she shoots him for you, and all your left with is berating her for killing a team member. But that’s not what happened here. I chose the option to shoot him, smashed him to the ground with my shotgun, then unloaded into to his prone body! (forgive me, Wrex!). I don’t think I’ve ever chosen that option before, or if I did, it was when I first played the game, because surprisingly I found it quite shocking. In general, I’ve enjoyed this Renegade play through, but not that bit. Shooting Wrex left me with scars that’ll never heal… After that, the assault on Saren’s lab was fairly routine; I killed the assistant, chatted to Sovereign, and left Kaiden to die. Regular kind of day.

Council_Hologram-Ambassador_Meeting_2That left me with Ilos, the citadel assault, and the Bring down the Sky DLC. BDTS whilst being a fairly enjoyable bit of DLC, doesn’t seem to have any impact upon the later story ( apart from a small cameo in ME3, if you let Balak survive), so I took the Renegade option, left everyone dead, and moved on. Ilos is straightforward; kill Geth, open the door, drive the Mako to the conduit. I’ve done it so many times now, I could probably do it blindfolded. It was the Citadel assault then, that provided the last little boost to fill up my Renegade bar. Of course, that meant the arrogant, pompous council had to die. Mwuhahahaha! That look on the face of the Destiny Acencion commanders face, when she realises the Alliance isn’t going to help, is priceless. With the unhelpful council members little more than space dust, the final cut-scene takes a decidedly fascist turn. Udina rants on about how Humanity will become the dominant species, how they’ll make the rest fall in line, etc. I hate Udina, so even though I’d pursued the Renegade path, I still couldn’t bring myself to choose him as council member. I was sick of politicians by that point, so I left them, not caring who was chosen.

Mass-Effect-1-boxartWrapping up Mass Effect 1, a few things had become apparent  First, all my Renegade killing was probably just removing all the colour from the next two games. Helena Blake for example, she doesn’t play any real part in Mass Effect 2, but meeting her again does provide a nice little callback to the first game. I was obviously removing a lot of that kind of stuff. Second, the combat does suck. Just a little bit. I’ve moaned a fair bit (in the past) about the introduction of thermal clip “ammo” for later games, but I’ll live with it in return for the much tighter combat mechanics and solid frame-rate  It’s strange going back to a game you love and noticing the technical flaws for the first time. I guess its just a symptom of ever improving games. Mass Effect is showing it’s age now, good job the story is as good as ever. Lastly, I miss the proper RPG aspects in the later games. I want to pour over armour and weapon stats every time I pick a new piece up. Removing all that felt wrong at the time, and it still feels wrong now.

Next instalment I move on to Mass Effect 2, where the Renegade path will be less straight forward. Till then, keep it Renegade, Soldiers!

The Game Jar Files: Mass Effect 3 Earth DLC

Originally published on The Game Jar 30/07/2012

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Wait what? My epic space RPG has multi player? It sure does, and to my mind it’s the most surprising part of the package purely because it’s pretty awesome. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that the multi player side of the game has received no less than three bits of free DLC so far, the third being Earth, which released this week. Before I delve into the details, I’ll run through a brief overview for anyone who’s not played the multi player. The super short  TL;DR explanation would be something like “it’s a 12 wave Horde mode with occasional objectives thrown in”, but that wouldn’t really do it justice. Yes, it’s another survival type co-op mode that pits you and up to three of you best Reaper stomping buddies up against waves of increasingly difficult enemies, but the RPG character elements throw something fresh into the mix. Weapon load out, choice of race, and allocation of skill points all add an extra layer of tactics, and team play is nigh on compulsory. Add in familiar backdrops from the Mass Effect universe and you have well-rounded, highly enjoyable co-op experience.

New characters, new weapons, new difficulty. In addition to adding the new and totally masochistic Platinum difficulty, the Earth DLC adds six new characters, three new maps, and three new weapons. Potentially there’s a huge amount of theory crafting to be dug into here, but then this article would end up being three times the length, and it’s far more enjoyable to just go play the damn game.

Characters: Each class gets one new elite Human N7 Operative. Broadly speaking, and without getting bogged down by describing each ability in detail, they play pretty much as you would expect them to, the Engineer is still an Engineer for example. Two things did catch my eye though, the N7 Soldier is an absolute tank, Krogan levels of Shields and Health in fact, and the Sentinel has a rather nifty omnitool based shield strapped to his arm. The full list is as follows; The Biotic based Adept Class has added an N7 Fury with the ThrowAnnihilation Field, and Dark Channel abilities. The Soldier class has added the highly armoured N7 Destroyer. Multi Frag Grenade, Missile Launcher, and Devastator Mode are the included abilities. Engineer adds the N7 Demolisher with Homing Grenade, Arc Grenade, and the rather handy Supply Pylon. The tech/biotic Sentinel goes with the N7 Paladin. Snap Freeze, Incinerate, and Energy drain are present here. Perhaps my favourite class, the cloaky sniper Infiltrator adds the sleek sounding N7 Shadow. Tactical cloak, Shadow Strike, and the intriguing sounding Electric Slash are her tools. From most favourite to least favourite, the kill stealing Vanguard class goes with the aptly named N7 Slayer. The Phased Disruptor, Sonic Charge, and Bionic Slash abilities are sure to ensure that this new Vanguard is as OP as the other variants.

Weapons: Added to the already sizeable arsenal are the Piranha Assault Shotgun, the  Acolyte Pistol, and Typhoon Assault Rifle. I’ve not tried the shotgun or the rifle yet, but I have had a go with the Acolyte. I found it tricky to use, it needs charging by holding the trigger down and the bullets (grenades?) it fires have a tendency to bounce off of whatever they hit if you don’t get a direct strike. No doubt better players than me will put it to good use, but I won’t be swapping it for my Geth Rifle any time soon.

Firebase Rio First impressions are Hydro Electric. Rio is a long thin map with multiple levels, think Cod 4’s Wetworks or Gears of War’s Canals but with a Mass Effect look and you’re just about there. To the one side of the map we have a far off city lit up at dusk, and to the other we have what looks to be a dam. A central command building divides the map into two, and blocks sight lines from one end to the other. At one end is a power station looking area, with lots of vertical pylons making combat close quarters with lots of corners to hide around. Defending this area during objectives is tricky. The other end is more open and allows more ranged combat. To the side of this end is a platform in which all the games I’ve played so far seems to be the permanent extraction point. So far the best tactics seem to be to bunker in the centre of the map, down spread across the width, so as to be able to fire upon whichever end the enemies have spawned.

Firebase London. Instantly recognisable to anyone who’s played the final mission in the main story. Set during the night amongst the ruined buildings of London, this map is dark and moody. Arranged in a Plus (or positive) layout with rubble and vehicle wreckage everywhere, it plays just like Gears of War’s Raven Down. Enemies spawn from any of the ends, and anyone loitering in the middle of the map will soon find themselves under fire from all directions. The most defensive point is an elevated walkway across one end, which gives a good view of the centre and parts of the sides. You’re never total secure up their however, as there’s easy access via a flight of stairs at either end. Personally I’m not a massive fan of these night-time maps as I find the enemies and ammo dumps a little hard to spot, but they do have some real atmosphere. Overall a solid map that plays quite differently to Rio. 

Firebase Vancouver. This one is probably my favourite, being the only daylight map. Set on a damaged high-rise office block, it takes the shape of a square, with each quarter having a different feel. Deployment and extraction occurs on an outdoor and exposed Helipad in the bottom left corner of the map. Moving up from there we have a shady, utilitarian looking area with plenty of ducting and air conditioning units for cover. Up a flight of stairs to the left and we’re on a balcony overlooking the previous area, and in front us is the close quarters office block. Exiting the offices by moving down brings us to the last corner of the map, and back on to the roof area. Here there’s one lonely portacabin and a bit of ducting, not much cover if you get caught. With lines of sight between quarters nicely obscured, this map encourages you to stay on the move constantly, shotgun wielding Vanguards should particularly enjoy this one.

What can I say in conclusion apart from its free stuff so go download it. Criticisms? First, you don’t get to play with the new characters right away you have to unlock them. Second, the Rio and Vancouver maps are a little too generic Mass Effect universe in their looks for my liking, there’s nothing about them that really shouts “this is Earth”. Other than that, it’s a hearty thumbs up from me. Keep ’em coming, Bioware.

Five things developers should be banned from doing

Originally Published on The Game Jar – 20th July 2012

As much as I love gaming there are some things that really bug me. Mostly it’s because I’m old and I remember a time when video games were made by a small group of friends trying to do something cool, but it’s not always that. You see, I believe that some developers have started to become lazy, their creativity has been stifled by the publishers pressure for a profitable game. We need to free these people, brothers and sisters, from the tyranny and oppression of boring game mechanics. So when the revolution comes, and you have wisely made me your glorious leader, I shall ban all game developers in the land from doing these five things.

Oh and obviously I’m doing this for the good of gaming, it’s in no way a selfish attempt by me to eliminate the things I’m no good at or hate doing…

Collectables. Ever play the first Assassins Creed? Enjoy collecting all the flags did you? No? You know why? Because it was FUCKING TEDIOUS. Seriously, who enjoys running around, all over the game world, collecting stuff that has no bearing on your objective? I’m simply not interested is shooting every pigeon in Liberty City, I’m Nico Bellic for christ sake, I’m a criminal and I care about the money and the ho’s, I don’t give a damn about city sanitation. In Bioshock,  I just want to escape from Rapture whilst shooting people in the face with bees, I don’t want a potted history on how every thing went to shit. From now on, if your game hasn’t got Lego whatever written on the box, you are banned from putting any sort of collectable in your game.

On rails driving and shooting bits. I want to be specific on this, having full control of a vehicle is fine, driving a tank in Halo or Battlefield for example is perfectly OK with me, because I can control where the thing is going, I can try to avoid incoming fire, and I can get out if needs be. What I hate is the on rails vehicle sections, the bits where I’m stuck in the back of the truck with the heavy gun with no control over where we go. It’s always the same, I, the poor mug in the open and who’s woefully unprotected, have to be a crack shot with the slow moving, slow firing heavy machine gun (or whatever) while the AI behind the wheel has absolutely no idea about evasive manoeuvring. And he’s safe in there, tucked up nicely behind all that armour. No, from now on I’m behind the plexiglass and the damn AI can get shot at on the back.

Day one DLC. Also known as “stuff that should already be in the game but is being held back for no good reason other than making more money” Once upon a time, games were released with only one version, there were no retailer exclusive weapons or characters, no DLC codes in the box. Everyone went out out bought the same game, my copy of Killzone was exactly the same as your copy of Killzone, neither of us had a special gun because we bought it at a certain shop, and neither of us had extra mission or maps. We had the same game. I’m so sick of this segregation of gamers, and it’s got to stop. Everyone gets the same game, end of.

Using the words Elite, Special, and Forces. Seriously, If I read one more game box blurb that starts with the words ” You are part of an elite special forces team…” I’m going to vomit. Can we all just agree now, that like the World War II setting previously, the modern day special forces setting has been done to death, and it’s time to move on? And while were at it, can we also throw in that other FPS staple, killing off the character your playing? It was shocking and immersive when Call of Duty 4 did it, but not any more. Making a first person shooter? Just follow this handy guide to sure fire profits. Got evil terrorists in it? Check! Got some sort of desert/middle east level in it? Check! Kill off the character whilst the player is playing him? Check! Be honest, I could have described any one of the more recent shooters out there, couldn’t I?

Not including split screen. Split screen seems to be going the way of the dodo sadly, so from now on, any developer contemplating not putting it in will be made to sit down with three friends and play Mario Kart until they understand why leaving it out is a crime. Ask anyone who played Goldeneye 64 for their fondest memories and invariably they’ll talk about the hours spent playing four player co op. The thing is, for gamers my age, multi player meant going round a mates house and playing split screen, there was no Live to hide behind. You took your controller round to his place, you sat in the same room, and you had fun. Nobody who’s played Mario Kart, Goldeneye, or Micro Machines with a room full of friends will tell you split screen doesn’t matter, it’s that simple.

So that’s my vision, under this blueprint gaming will move forward to a glorious future! Granted I may have to build my own Rapture under the sea to become supreme overlord, and developers might not be too keen to come live down there and make games, but a boy can dream can’t he? Have I missed anything? What overused gaming mechanics would you like to see banned? Can you not get enough of playing a special forces soldier, and secretly wish that every game was Call of Duty. Let me know in the comments bellow.

Would you pay £88 for Call of Duty? Chances are you already do…

I want to take a look at DLC with this post, or more specifically the very clever business model publishers have gotten us used to. Being an older gamer, I can remember a time when the whole game consisted of whatever was on the cartridge/floppy disc. If it was bugged in some way there was no downloadable patch, if it was a multiplayer game and you were bored of the maps/race tracks/whatever you couldn’t download news ones. In short, you gave the publishers one lot of money for the game.

In today’s market, DLC is the norm. On the whole, game prices haven’t really increased in the time I’ve been a gamer, at the time Street Fighter 2 Turbo on the SNES cost  me around £50 for example, so publishers haven’t managed to edge the price of games up for a very long time now. Only they have, very cleverly, with the drip feed of DLC.

For this example I’m going to use Call of Duty: Black Ops on the Xbox 360. This is not a comment on the quality of the game itself, and yes I know you could shop around for points etc… I’m trying to keep this simple. So with that in mind;

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Full game £44.99
  • Pack of 5000 Microsoft Points – £42.50
  • DLC Pack 1 – 1st Strike – 1200pts
  • DLC Pack 2 – Escalation – 1200pts
  • DLC Pack 3 – Annihilation – 1200pts
  • DLC Pack 4 – Rezurrection – 1200pts
  • Total Cost for Black Ops and all the DLC: £87.49

So if you bought Black Ops and all the DLC it would cost you just over £87. If I was being particularly awkward, I’d point out that on the Xbox you’re also paying a Live subscription too, so if Black Ops was the only thing you played that’s over £100!

So my question is this Call of Duty fans; If you went into your local game retailer to pick up the latest copy of the series and it had £89.99 on the box, would you still buy it? And for clarity it’s the plain vanilla version and there’s no DLC ever, anything that would have been DLC is already on the disc.

To be honest you could substitute Call of Duty for Dragon Age: Origins (which had a mountain of DLC after launch), or pretty much any other game, my point is none of us buy the latest title happy in the knowledge that it’s going to cost us double the sticker price in the long run. Nobody looks at the box and thinks “this is going to cost me £40 alone in DLC”. So if the latest version of your favourite game had a realistic prices tag on it from day one, if you knew the true cost, would you still buy the game?

Take your DLC and shove it…

Today I am having one of my “depressed at the state of the games industry” days, and on days like these I find it increasingly hard to justify continuing playing games at all. The source of my irritation today is downloadable content and the way it’s now being used to milk ever more increasing amounts of money from us. Once upon a time it was a decent trade off, developer earns some extra money from an older title, the gamer gets some new content for a well loved game, a fair trade off in my opinion. What happens now is content (that could and should have been on the disc to start with) held back for DLC, or content that’s on the disc already but locked and sold as DLC, or three versions of the same game with differing “bonus content” just so that a retailer can call their version exclusive. Honestly I’m sick of it, and at some point I’m going to stop buying new games altogether.

Take your DLC and shove it up your ass!

/Rant over 😛

I love Dragon Age, but…

As much as I’m loving Dragon Age Origins at the moment, there is one thing I don’t like, and it’s best summed up by this comic. Head over to Penny Arcade for more, and check out their Fallout 3 series whilst you’re there.

So the BioShock demo is here……

Don’t you just love the Internet? My favourite thing about the Internet is all the nutjobs that inhabit cyberspace, and seem to frequent gaming sites, so when the Bioshock demo hit marketplace, and was a little slow to download, the inevitable happened. Cue the “Microsoft Sucks” posts, I mean the game comes out on the 24th for God’s sake….The demo rocks by the way.

Maybe my intolerance to these ‘net nuts has been made worse by the fact that I’ve discovered that I suck at Rainbow Six:Vegas this week. Fresh from my victory in the LoX Gamers Bomberman Live Clash Of The Titans comp, confidence was riding high. My fall from grace was swift however, once I’d been totally owned in a Sharpshooter match, how comes there’s no host advantage with Rainbow?

Well, that’s it, rant over. I’m off to gain a promotion to First Sergeant, to try to get into The Darkness, and to count the days off untill Bioshock arrives at my door. One last thing, the Internet also loves the phrases “GH 2 Track Packs” and “500pts”

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