Sunday, 26 December 2010

Nier - The Re-Review

I have been thinking about Nier alot recently. The good parts, the bad parts, and the endings that I didn't see. Mostly I thought about the plotholes and how they dragged the story down. I have since played through endings B, C, and D, and I can see the light now. Nier has dragged itself up from the ashes to show be that it is actually one of the best games that I have played this year.

I have been listening to the soundtrack and it has one of the best original sound tracks I have heard for years, and probably for years to come. From the second playthrough onwards the game has new cutscenes that give the Shades more humanity as well as further developing the characters we already have.

I have decided to revoke the previous statement I made about this game being just average as best. It is so much more than that. It is one of the most thought provoking games I have played all year. No questions asked. Nier's new score is a well deserved 8/10. Definatly worth a look if you want a game that you can play through more than once.

I got some games for christmas, so you can look forward to more reviews in the coming month of 2011, but also look forward to short reviews where I look at the Indie games I bought in the January sales!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The 2010 G.E.E.K Awards!

You may remember if you can find my old blog from last year that I made my awards for 2009. Well its back. I decided to do it now, as there is little chance that I will complete any more games this year. So lets get down to it.

Film of the Year

The Wolfman

Webcomic of the Year

Order of the Stick

Best PS3 game of the Year

Dark Void

Best Wii Game of the Year

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Best Xbox Game of the Year

Fable 2

Best DS Game of the Year

Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Best Game I haven't played of the Year

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Best Book of the Year

The Third Man by Peter Mandleson

Best use of Screaming of the Year


Best Escapist Canon Series of the Year

Loading Ready Run - Commodore Hustle

Best Escapist Non-Canon Series of the Year

Extra Credits

Favourite Website of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award of 2010

James Wyatt- 2nd Time Winner

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Dead Rising 2 - When hell is full, Zombies will use our gambling machines

Dead Rising 2 is a long game. I won't deny this, but it is fun. Dead Fun. It takes place in Fortune City, a basic copy of Vegas but I won't go into the references here, and you take control of Chuck Greene. A former motocross champion with nothing to lose. A man's man, as manly as the-- Wait, he has a daughter that he looks after? Well thats that ruined then. For a father he really doesn't have many morales in this city of the dead, psychopathes and looters, easily killing all of these with the right strategies.

Dead Rising 2's thing is that you can wield a variety of weapons while combining some particular weapons to make new and more powerful ones. This helps with the leveling system, as killing with the more powerful weapons gets you more points. There is a level cap, but it is set to 50, so you probably won't get to that until your second playthrough. You can also at any point, like the first Dead Rising, restart the game from the start, but take your levels and upgrades with you to make the game easier. I'm not ashamed to say that I did not complete the game without restarting.

Chuck is kind of cool, but ruined by his daughter somewhat. He has to get a drug called Zombrex for her daily, as she was bitten by a zombie before when the game is set and needs it to stop herself from turning. Back to Chuck though, he can have some good moments with his one liners, but some of these seem really forced. Some of his finer moments are in the cinematics when he kills a pschopath however. Overall Chuck is one of the most interesting characters in the main cast, but the main cast lets him down.

Katie, Chuck's daughter, is not interesting in the slightest. Everyone is constantly telling Chuck that she will turn soon, but she just doesnt get enough screentime to make a lasting impression on me. You can give her gifts to get a large experience boost, but why should I need to? I bought a zombie game right? I expected to get a large boost of experience by killing a zombie with a rake fired from a rocket launcher.

There are a number of side missions in the game that you may choose to undertake or not. Whenever you get one a time limit starts for how long you can undertake it. Many of these can pile up, so you can bring survivors you are rescuing to a battle with a psychopath to make it easier, but there would be a good chance that the psychopath would kill all your survivors and stop you from getting the experience boost from getting them back to the safehouse. As you do more and more of these missions, the side cast grows larger and larger so i'm not going to talk about them. Not because there are way too many, but because they are not characterised well enough for me to think they deserve it.

Dead Rising 2 is a timesink. But it is a good timesink. If you want to kill a few hours and a few zombies while you are at it, just let Katie turn, and you then have free roam over the city. Sure you fail the game, but you can go wherever you want and do whatever you want. You could do sidequests, or not do sidequests. This is a game that offers many methods of gameplay, and I would recommend it to anyone with nothing better to play this christmas. I mean consider the game lineup for this christmas, what the hell are the publishers thinking.

Overall, get Dead Rising 2, well worth the money, 7/10.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Opinion in Words - Student Protests and Such

In the United Kingdom at the moment it is hard to ignore the student loans crisis. The coalition government has slashed the University budget by 80%, and to make it up they have decided to ramp up the basic fees to combat this and make the students mostly take the hit. Before I get anyone angry about this, I just want to say that I know we are still technically in a recession and I am not saying that student fees should no go up. Going up to £6,000 basic fee per year though is just too much of a raise at once. Now you have students rioting, i'm sure many of you have seen how Prince Charles and Camilla were attacked because they went down the road where the student protesters were being forced by the riot police, as well as the peaceful protests. Although it is student's right to protest. Nothing is going to happen if no-one does anything to make themselves heard. But I completely agree with Aaron Porter, the now NUS President, with how he said that he condemes any violences and I am too saddened by the small minority that overtook the theme of the peaceful protests and made it violent.

Lets talk about the government now though. I am not a fan of the Conservatives. Before the recession they mostly looked out for the rich, and although they are getting better the drastic and quick cuts have overshadowed this. I am a Labour voter and the Conservatives keep going on about them having to clear up the mistakes of the previous government. Stop going on about that, put more emphasis on what you are doing.

Next the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg has already said that if he had the chance he would do it all the same way again, and Vincent Cable has done so many U-turns on his own bill that i'm suprised he hasn't fainted from lack of blood to the head. Nick Clegg with this bill has not only failed to keep his party convinced as 28 Lib Dems voted for and 21 against, but has killed the Lib Dem's reputation for the years to come. I only say this as think back to a couple of years ago, when less than half of the population was voting. Now we get students actually interested in politics and they all are finally of voting age. Being students, mostly they vote for the Lib Dems. Now in just 15 minutes, the Lib Dems have been utterly destroyed. They will never again get the student vote said Aaron Porter rightfully. They never again will unless they do something drastic to get their party on track. They have made one of the worst decisions possible in my opinion, and unless they do something about Nick Clegg things can only get worse for them from here.

This is Tyramatt, still raging about Dead to Rights: Retribution.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Dead To Rights: Ridiculous

Right. Coming straight out of Nier, and going right into Dead to Rights: Retribution. Lets see if this game is better or worse than it's middle ground last tennant of my PS3. If you want the short version, go to the bottom paragraph. No seriously. Its a long and painful process.

You start up the game and have to kill several gang members while controlling a dog. I have no idea whats going on, but its awesome because its a dog. You then find yourself in a bar somewhere talking with a woman with the dog mysteriously absent, "No wait Jack! Without the dog your are powerless!". The main character is Jack Slate, but we'll get more into his character at the end. I should also mention that the dog looks like a wolf, and is named shadow. Oh no wait, it turns out the dog is here. Thank god, Jack would of been screwed without that. We then enter some flashback plot exposition to show some of Jack's backstory which boils down to the fact that Sergeant Illness is a inactive jerk, and there is a gang called Union with someone called Riggs who organised them. After saving a ground total of one woman and some security guards, I train boxing with some old guy, then start the next part of the game. Go to place, kill guys with dog, this is just a bit boring. Also it would seem that all other cops in the city are incompetent apart from Jack and a few others. One of those gets shot in the second mission as well.

After quite obviously causing a train wreck, a shootout in a train station, and a boss that I got my dog to kill for me, we get some more exposition from the present in the diner, where we learn nothing! I hate this game so much right now! Its unreal! Most of this game is shootouts, punching, and the occassional stealth parts using Shadow. As not much is happening in the game at this point, I should probably talk about the combat to pass the time. In my Nier review I mentioned how the combat felt slightly sticky and unnatural, but if we were to compare that to swimming in cream, Dead to Rights: Retribution's combat, fist fights and shooting parts anyway, feel like swimming in concrete. It not only feels so wrong because the fist fights feel so detatched from reality, but its just so boring and generic considering this is a 2009 game. The shooting sucks, as shots at point blank range miss and I was constantly getting headshots with machine guns from miles away. Also I have to mention that when you get one of the sed headshots, the game sickenly slows down for a brief couple of seconds. This only exists to give some more gore to a gorey game to begin with. The stealth sections with Shadow are good though, yet another reason to like the dog more than all of the other characters.

Now that we've wasted some time not talking about the game, lets see what happened while we were gone. Well, we found some unknown police unit, shot up most of it, and then went to a big stadium presumebly to shoot up more clueless special police unit officers. There was also a sewer level, but that isn't worth talking about. We then kill someone with the most ridiculously overarmoured suit I have ever seen, appropriately named a "Tank". After that you head through more firefights, then comes another Shadow stealth section. Yes, I wait most of the game for these. Right, disarm the two... electricity boxes? This dog is just too well trained... RIght so I try to sneak through, and theres one guard who never moves. Right, lets try killing everyone in a splinter cell fashion. Get killed all the times I try. Lets try rushing, get killed. Urrghh. Apparently blowing up three helicopters of the GOVERNMENT FUNDED ORGANISATION will completely cripple it from doing anything. Hello game, this is logic calling!

After trying to blow up a fourth helicopter and then falling out of it 4 feet so the game could shove the fact that the head of the S.W.A.T was incompetant in our face, we then come full circle and the flashbacks stop. I forgot we were in flashbacks for a mome-- *BOOM* What the hell was that?! Oh, the character that we didnt know got shot. I feel so bad right now. Not. I really do hate this game. Then after a brief escort mission where you appear to heal the women by spooning her... Weird... You get dropped off by the pilot of the medicopter at the temple tower, location of the first mission. Oh and thanks for saying "Present Day" there, I didn't think we'd entered another flashback, but fine.

After arriving, killing more men, and some suprising amount of angst from Jack Slate, and finding out that the S.W.A.T leader killed his father, I don't know I stopped paying attention a while back, we then use our bargaining chip as a human shield! You know I think you really should take better car-- Did you just use his head to push a elevator button?! So after more firefights an-- Stop using his head to open elevator doors! You have hands! Sorry, after more firefights and constant complaining from your "Portable Ammo Mule", you have to fight a helicopter of which Shadow takes out the pilot (This must have been the one helicopter that I let go since apparently the police force only has four). At this point I had high hopes of piloting a helicopter as Shadow, but then remembered that this was Dead to Rights: Retribution I was thinking about. After the helicopter and my dreams crash you go through a couple more firefights, including one with a "Tank" that came out of the crashed helicopter, we get back to the police stati-- Stop telling me its the present day! This is just ridiculous now! Oh no, we haven't got back to the police station yet, the opening shot lied to me.

I'm far too angry with this game at the moment to continue on, so lets talk a bit about something that has never really bothered me in a game before this one, the animations. The animations in a game to me are not a frontline make or break in whether a game is good. Because it is this game though, I have noticed some more glaring bad animation. It was not noticable at first, but in time the animation for climbing a ladder caught my eye. It was like it was stop animation, not really moving muscles, but climbing it as if he was just switching frames to climb. Other than that most of the animation is bad apart from the takedowns, but I try not to include them because those are there to show Jack beating people up in the most graphic and violent way possible.

Alright, there isn't much more of this game. Just power though, power through. We're on the home stretch here, I hope. After another firefight, once again using the guy as cover, we put him in a cell and run into the incompetent Sergeant Illness. Him and Jack settle their differences and join forces to.... take back the city? How are we going to do that exactly? After defending the building from the G.A.C for some reason rather than just evacuating, we decide to go to Danvers Island for possibly and hopefully the final battle.

We arrive at Danvers Island an-- I swear if it reminds me that its the present day one more time... And on arriving in a suit of G.A.C armour as a disguise the game once again shoves the fact that the leader of S.W.A.T is now the leader of G.A.C and is the villian. After blowing up a considerable chunk of the building, you go through a couple more firefights on your way to confront the leader, when you find a suit of tank armour. Now we are talking, so we go through more firefights an-- What?! Why did he take the armour off! Why would he ever take the armour off! Arghh.. So then we go through some more fights, and then a suprisingly boring Shadow stealth section, and then having Shadow beaten so that he cannot help us in the final fight, we finally confront the leader of S.W.A.T, Redwater. Its a showdown of epics, and then he pulls the most ridiculous looking knife i've ever seen. As if i didn't hate this game enough, this is by far the hardest boss fight as well. So we kill Redwater, Shadow is fine apparently now, we go through a stupid epilogue where Jack says some kind words to his fathers tombstone and then leaves the cemeter-- Wait a second? Where are all the gangs? Did Dead to Rights just decide Jack Slate killed them all? Oh I just don't care. Its over now, thats all that matters.

Lets quickly talk about the characters before I end this. I hate Jack Slate. He is completely unlikeable, with a ridiculous body structure and a personality to match. Making terrible decisions and going a completely idiotic way to make sure his father was avenged. His father we never learned that much about, so I am going to skip him.

Some of the bit characters now. Faith, I assume was supposed to be the love interest, but you never learn hardly anything about her, so she is skipped as well. Redwater was made out to be the bad guy every 20 minutes, but the game did at least make an effort to show that he really did want what was best for the city. He was just going the wrong way about it is all. Sergeant Illness was an incompetant prick, with all the sense of a cardboard box. The gangs were unbelievable, none of them given much backstory, and therefore will be forgotten just as quickly.

Shadow is by far the best character in this entire game. He is the most competant as well. The thing I didn't like was how dogs can apparently see through walls and sense enemies. That was weird. Also his takedowns were as gruesomely gorey as Jack's.

Right. Going to end this now. Dead to Rights: Retribution is the most horrible game I have ever played. It is silly, has a plot that drags itself through the dirt, and all of the characters are morons! Final word, Dead to Rights: Retribution is not worth the money that was used to pay for the paper to make the instructions. 2/10. Enough said.

This is Tyramatt, needing to get this rage out of my system.

Wii Quickies - Super Mario Galaxy 2

Space. The final frontier? I picked up this game a couple of weeks after release, because I wanted more gravity puzzles, exciting cartoonish boss fights, and mainly see where the game took the story from Super Mario Galaxy. While the game provided the first one, and really delivered on the second, it failed to progress the logical story of these games. The story isn't that interesting and for most of the game I just imagined it was an expansion pack for the first game. At the end, it really forced something stupid in my face that really made me think that I have psychic powers. To end this quickie review, Super Mario Galaxy 2. If you enjoyed the first one, you probably will enjoy the second one. Its give and take with this game, for example: there are more boss fights than the first game, but they are more cartoonish. To end the review I would give Super Mario Galaxy 2, a 6/10. It could have been so much more if it straight continued from the first game from the start, rather than shoehorning it into the ending!

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Opinion in Words - Addicted to Games? Panorama Special

This is a new section of gamesJunction called "Opinion in Words". In these little rants I will talk about a topic that I believe needs more coverage and how I believe that the common view is either right or wrong. So lets talk about something that has just peaked my interest, the new Panorama episode, where they tackle the topic "Addicted to Games".

First I must stress, what said here is 100% opinion and is just what I feel. The main problem I had with it was the fact that they downplayed the positives of gaming, but then again it was particularly about addiction to games. This "addiction" however could be overshadowed by the various psychological factors of the average human mind, as well as environmental factors including parenting styles. This would mean that the games companies are not to blame entirely. The program's only attempt at making the game "World of Warcraft" seem more plausible as a good game, was the part where they mentioned that it had 12 million players, and they showed at most 4 people who were "addicted" to it.

I am not having a go at parents though for their styles of parenting, I am just trying to stress that cutting people off from their computer games is not the way to help them. Through moderation you can stop them from getting to this level in the first place. The main thing though is that every person has a different mindset, so no matter what people think, not everyone is going to become a serial killer just because they played "Doom 3". People need to stop trying to blame things like this entirely on videogames. They say that there are many things to do away from the computer, but they just raise the environmental factor on a child's mindset again. Unless you are willing to watch your child every waking second, you cannot protect them from everything thats out there.

The program also brought up and devoted a considerable chunk of the episode to being in South Korea and their attempts to bring the "addiction" under controll. Do they not realise that South Korea takes videogames very seriously. A percentage of the South Korea's population are the infamous "Gold Farmers", who someone across the world can hire to get gold for them.

Right, thats all I have to say on this subject, so once again its time to say..

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

EDIT: Dead to Rights: Retribution is coming, look busy.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Nier: The Aftermath Review

WARNING. This review contain spoilers.

Right. Lets get something out of the way first. Just a little something to consider. Can you pass off a mistake made in a game's development as gameplay? Of course you can. You may have to adjust the game idea somewhat, but it can work in the right situation.

That considered, lets talk about Nier, a game that takes the above the theory and abuses it in the second act. Nier is a game developed by Square Enix and strangely did not recieve much advertising. It just appeared on shop shelves one day. This was a strange thing to do, especially for Square Enix but I digress.

Nier starts up as you go through a tutorial to explain the combat, the enemies, and other things, when suddenly you jump to 1,312 years later?! Wow, most games wait for at least 25% through before they do something random of that magnitude. I won't explain the plot too much, but there are certain points that I want to put emphasis on just because these are the more, lets say surreal parts to this game.

The first boss is the first time I have ever felt saddened for a boss in any game purely through its appearance. It was a big demon, which I was fine with. It had what looked like testicles on its chin though. Huh. There weren't just two either, there were about 15 or so. This made for interesting boss design, but it was just a bit too phalic for my liking. Also a village got destroyed while I was fighting it. It was kind of my fault.

The next sequence of events that I didn't really care for came at the halfway point. Basically, a regenerating monster attacks the village and the resolving point for this is that the main characters decide to trap the monster rather than killing it by putting it in the basement. My jaw dropped when I heard this plan because it just didnt make any sense. Simply ignoring the monster would not solve the problem! Regardless to say we time jump again 5 years, and after revisiting one of the temples from the first half again, we release the monster and kill it. Needless to say, its a bit angry but the thing that annoyed me was that there was no difficulty increase for this boss, while my character had gotten many upgrades before this.

Right. Now we can talk about why I put that little discussion topic at the start. In the second act of Nier, the game basically has you visit all of the same temples again from the first half. I could assume this is gameplay, but I really think that this was because they ran out of time, or money, or something which then made them have to make rush decisions to get it out. This meant that they had to recycle the temples, which were all quite short anyway and of which one was a scrolling text dungeon, to get the game done in time. It just makes the game repetitive, which is unfortunate.

Lets talk about the character first. The main character Nier, is a very sympathetic character. He has a daughter with a disease, and he just wants whats best for her. Thats a good character trait that you could base a really good, expansive character story around. Where he fails is the fact that there is not too much more to the character than wanting the best for the daughter. A couple of words on his daughter now. A girl who tries to help, but is mainly there to drive the story. Thats all there really is to her. You can see that they are trying to push a loving family vibe here, and it works but not enough to make me care more than I already am.

Grimoire Weiss is by far my favourite character over some of the others. He is a sentient magic book that Nier calls apon to invoke magic from. He is ridiculously proud, sarcastic, and does not like it when people abbrieviate his name. He is the only character who is always around from when you first get him however. Other companions come and go, but he is there from the time where you first meet him, right up to the end. He also calls the female companion a hussy. That was his thing from just before the halfway point, and then kept until the end. Sorta came outta nowhere but I found it funny at least.

Kainé is my least favourite character. A foulmouth, skantely bitch with a temper to match. From conversation to conversation she is trying to distance herself from the other characters, but at least has some funny conversations with Grimoire Weiss. The game also tries to give her a sympathetic backstory, but this falls flat as I just think that shes such an unlikeable character that I just didn't care. There was one person who was always trying to be her friend, Emil.

Emil was a child cursed with the power of turning anyone who he looks at into stone. Kinda harsh for a little kid right? Well it gets harsher as the game goes along as you find out in the second half that his sister was transformed into the ultimate weapon, which he then joined with to gain ultimate magical power to free someone from stone. The downside from this was that he turned into a skeleton with an oversized head. This is a kid! A very sympathetic kid as well. Why would the-- Wait a second. Everyone is sympathetic. This isn't really sympathy is it. This is angst!

Angst aside, the story was just average until about the 90% mark, where you finally learn whats going on. Also it may have been because I just played the Uncharted games back to back, but the gameplay just doesn't feel as fluid. It feels sticky, and just doesn't feel right.

Right. Got to tie this review up. Nier just didn't feel like a complete game to me. If more work had been done on different locations for the second act, and the more stupid parts had been ironed out, it would have recieved a higher score. The ending part of the game really brought it up from the ashes, but I can't give Nier more than a "Mierr" score of 4/10.

Also next up is Dead to Rights: Retribution for another abrupt change of game!

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Uncharted Experience - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Right. I just completed Uncharted 2, and have alot to say about it. But first, I would like to tread on some old ground and re-visit Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. I realised a couple of days ago that when I wrote my short Uncharted review, I failed to mention any of the characters and how these characters act. Nathan Drake is a nice change in some aspects from other games that I had been playing because he acts alot more like a movie star than a game character. This is mainly from the writing, but the voice acting really brings the character to life. Nolan North is a very good voice actor as well as a great motion capture actor. But now we talk about the other character that I didn't like, the love interest Elena. At first I liked her because she was believable because she was actually trying to get her job done, but before long she was climbing all over the place, disappearing for seemingly no reason, and doing stuff that most reporters wouldn't think of.

But now we move onto the smaller character parts, and we start with my favourite character, Sully. Sully is a riot. He is like the old guard, a person from a different time in the sense that his day of climbing all over ancient structures is long gone, while still keeping his unique style of charisma. The villian is forgettable unfortunatly, mainly because of the constant fire fights with his henchmen, but something that will stick with me for many months, and a big spoiler coming here, was the fact that his colleague killed him in the last five minutes of gameplay, and then he decided "I'm going to be the final boss now". One last thing, then i'll move onto Uncharted 2, the quicktime events. I really could not believe when people said there were quicktime events at about 4 points in the game. Its true. Its the stupidest thing in this game. Enough said.

Right. Now to Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The game starts up and i'm on a beach talking to two people that Nathan Drake knows, but I don't. What am I missing here? Now i'm breaking into a museum? Now some guy is betraying me? What is going on?! Oh well, right after the confusing opening, we go through a jungle level which was quite reminiscent of the first game, steal some documents and then proceed to a city. You might wonder why i'm skipping through this game. Its because there are massive spoilers in every crevasse of this game. So you go through the city, firefight after firefight, partly with a woman who isnt really given a proper origin story other than the fact that Drake knows her. Then you run into the woman from the first game, basically get her cameraman killed, and then keep going. Then you storm a train. I have nothing to say on that. After making the train crash, you find yourself at a Tibetan village after another firefight. You then meet a guy called Paul Schafer. I still can't help but think that i've heard that name somewhere before...

Then you get another sidekick, someone who can't speak english. Fantastic. Then you fight a weird mutant yeti. What?! Where did this come from?! Oh well, the evil guy Lazaravic attacks the village, and after a vehicle section, and several firefights you find Schafer again, but hes dieing. Then after some more firefights, of which the mutant yetis have turned up again for no reason, you get into where the meguffan of this game is being kept. You then get captured by Lazaravic, and have to get him into where the Cintamanni Stone is. Then the yetis attack again. Lazaravic comes in and shoots them all with his double barrel shotgun, and then reveals that they were men in costumes. This makes no sense as we later find out that they take more shots for some reason when they are out of the damn costumes!

You escape Lazaravic with the two women, the one from the first game, Elena, and the new one, Chloe. You then go through some more firefights with both Lazaravic's henchmen and then purple people who were in the yeti suits. You then find the guy who betrayed you in the beginning who was betrayed by Lazaravic in a delicious spate of irony. He blows himself up with a grenade. Alright then. You then have to fight Lazaravic which was harder than I thought. But then the real final boss fight appears. The collapsing bridge! I found this section alot harder than the final boss fight and died alot more on this part than on the actual fight!

After this the ending takes over and then Chloe says basically "You walked away from me, now i'm going to do the same to you HAHA!". Drake and Elena get together and it is a good cinematic. Until they start talking about how Drake hates clowns.

Lets start by talking about some of the smaller things. The combat is unchanged, and the environments are better than ever. The character models are better as well. So lets start talking about the new characters as the old character still do what they used to do in the first one. Chloe is a british woman, who keeps trying to leave Elena behind. Love Triangle much? I really don't like Chloe, although I like her slightly more than Elena. She plays a big part with double crossing the bad guys, and helping Drake where she can, but thats all there really is to her. She is a uninteresting love interest, and Drake really should know better considering how many times shes double crossed people.

Lazaravic is a better villian than the last time, and he at least he actually survives to be the final boss. Hes a russian with a great voice actor, and while most of the voice acting is good, he really got to the top of the pile on voices. The acting is brilliant.

Harry, who was the betrayer from the start, only exists to give Drake someone to get angry at and for someone for Chloe to steal information from. Considering that he dies by blowing himself up with a grenade, he is not an interesting enough character to talk about. Therefore the last major problem I have with this game is, where the hell is Sully! I didn't notice this until the very end, but he only appears for the first 3 chapters and then doesn't come back again until the ending cinematic! What was he doing all that time?! Oh well, at least he wasn't killed.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves does have problems, but they are not glaring. The plot can be a bit bad at times, but it doesn't stop the game being a very worthy sequel. If they had left the yetis out the game, it would have been better, as well as characterising Chloe and Harry some more. If these two things had been implemented, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves would have gotten an 8/10. But as it stands, I have have to give Uncharted 2 the same score as its predecessor. A solid 7/10.

And now a quick preview of the next game I am going to play, NIER. I start up the game to install the game on the PS3 hard drive, and I watch the opening cinematic to get myself in the mood for what I was in store for. Immediatly some random woman starts shouting at me. Who the hell is this cow?! Where is she? Can I punch her? I am in for alot of angst aren't I. Oh well. Next up is NIER.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Uncharted Experience - Uncharted: Drakes Fortune

I went into this game expected alot of climbing on things and finding exotic treasures. What I did not expect was the absolutly beautiful enviroments, the clever puzzle design and the experience that I was watching a movie as well as playing a game. Not many games can accomplish that nowadays.

That being said though, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune has one huge flaw in my opinion. Which is the combat. I know that cover based combat was all the rage back then, and still is to some extent, but it is the frequency of the fights that annoys me. They just happen too often to be constant fun.

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is by no stretch of the word bad. It is not nearly as good as some of the earlier Tomb Raider games, but makes up for it being on a high definition console by having much better realised environments, and the ability to have truly entrancing cinematics without having the problem of disc space usage.

I am currently in a playthrough of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and I have to say while the good things have kept true and the combat has improved slightly, the story has suffered slighty. The story is less believable, and the dialogue leaves alot to be desired in this game so far, but I won't do a full review of Uncharted 2. At least, not yet.

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune gets a very modest 7/10, but is definatly worth a look for PS3 owners.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Darkness Review - Part 2

It turns out I didn't really have much more of the game to go, so heres the gist of the rest of the game, which I think really is the better half. You have to go steal a briefcase that is apparently essential to the evil doer's doing. Oh yeah also before this you have to go try and kill the police chief, but he gets away. Oh well. You then put a bomb in the briefcase and then go to a church to give it back. You then have to shoot down many SWAT members and then you get captured by being too much in the light to use your darkness powers. After some more exposition from the good old police chief, you get a police officer to move in front of one of the lights and then you go for the police chief. And hit the briefcase. Forcing the bomb to go off. You can see where this is going right?

You wake up back in hell which is redder than ever, but this time you start in the mega train. You go to fire the cannons! But theres no ammo. So you spend a bit of time finding your great, great grandfather to help you get some ammo. He also has a tank now. Alright then.

After the only freaking tank section of the game you run into a darkness type yeti monster that kills your great, great grandfather. Huh. So you get ammo, shoot your way into a castle, and then confront the darkness as it turns out this is not hell, but the mind of the darkness, which it also turns out from living what must be 300 lifetimes has gone insane. You beat the darkness by running up to it with no guns drawn. Alright then.

YOu then control the darkness. You then go to a boat to ruin this guy's life some more I think, it isnt really clear. Yeah so you leave the boat, and then go defend your aunt's house from attacking mafia men and corrupt cops. Then you go for the final area, which is a mansion on a island with a lighthouse. This last sequence of the game is brilliantly executed and I will not encur spoilers of that magnitude, so if you have to know that bad go look for yourself.

The Darkness is really not as bad a game as the reputation proceeds it. As a current generation console it fails considerably, but you need to remember that this was a early title for the PS3 and Xbox 360, back when studios didn't know what the consoles were capable of. The story is lacking at first, but the darkness really holds the story together in the second half. Overall I found myself enjoying The Darkness towards the end which was an unexpected feeling. I would give The Darkness a very modest 5/10, if only because the second half really pulled the first half back up. The next game up on the Tyramatt chopping board is Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

The Darkness Review - Part 1

So. The Darkness. A game considered to have one of the worst demos ever made. But the whole game really isn't too bad. The storyline may just barely hold itself together, but it is interesting enough for me to want to keep going. I'm at the 55% mark, so i'm going to do half of the review now, and then do the last 45% when i've completed the game. So lets dig in.

The Darkness follows Jackie Estacado on his 21st birthday. After a very rushed and seemingly out of place car chase Jackie crashes out of the car, his companion tells him that his uncle has probably put out a hit on him for failing (I think) and after many minutes of wandering about you gain the so-called darkness powers. I like the darkness powers. They seem to contain the rather sly feel about them, while constantly showing their own power over Jackie.

After a couple of objectives walking to places, i'm going to go off on a rant in a bit so hold on, I got to the next big objective of burning some money to "Fuck up Paulie's operation". Why do most of these missions just include shooting henchmen with no redeemable qualities and burning things? The rant is about the tracking system as I should call it. In my Resistance 2 review I complained about how some of the objective trackers were useless and shouldn't have been there. But in this game, there is no local map, and no objective tracker. I got lost so many times trying to find where I had been directed to by NPCs.

So eventually the Darkness made my unable to save my girlfriend from being shot, and Jackie shoots himself. That came out of left field. He wakes up in some sort of World War II esque hell where the british are fighting Nazis to gain control of "The Hills". After some character exposition where you find out that it was Jackie's great, great grandfather who brought the darkness into the family and that it latches onto the firstborn male on their 21st birthday, but there is a way to control it. After another mission where Jackie goes to "The Hills" by himself, he retrieves the "Darkness Guns". Through these guns apparently the darkness can be controlled.

Insert here another train bit. Why does every game I play seem to have at least one train in it since I played Spirit Tracks? Jackie breaks free of hell since the darkness was apparently keeping his body alive so that it could survive. Jackie comes back and apparently his first matter of business is revenge! Oh wait, no. He has to go visit his aunt. He goes there and the aunt basically sets up the next two major missions where you have to kill the police chief to get to the main evil guy.

The Darkness does not deserve the horrendously bad reputation it has. Some people have said it was just unplayable, but cut it some slack. It was released when the PS3 first came out, and studios did not know what the console was capable of. You can ignore the modelling issues at least from that as well as the bad animation on the human models when they talk. As I mentioned before, the rest of the game will be reviewed when I complete it.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Some Unfinished Business - Resistance 2

Resistance 2 is finished. Good game. I give those people at Insomniac Games a pat on the back for that ending. Knowing there was a going to be a sequel to this game, they really closed off most of the continuing storyline.

If you want to know more about what I think about Resistance 2 look at a couple of posts ago where I basically rant about it for a bit. As a follow-up post I just wanted to comment on the ending couple of missions and then give my scoring for it. So here goes, and I must warn there are *SPOILERS* ahead.

Right now that thats out of the way, I can really get down to it. When you are fighting Daedalus in the final battle, he is way too easy.. I had a much harder time getting to him and the could be considered first part of the boss fight where you are fighting random chimera and he is throwing stuff at you. When you get god-like powers when you beat him though its quite cool though, even though I still managed to die twice.. In the closing cinematic when your squadmate shoots you because you are too much like a chimera though, that really saddened me. At first I thought it was because when you don't get your inhibitors for a while you slowly turn into a chimera, but when your character repeats something Daedalus said, I realised that you were slowly turning into another version of him...

Overall I enjoying Resistance 2, and would give it a very modest 7/10.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A "Crate" Time!

Right heres the crate as it stands at the moment. I know it could do with some more work on the texture, just with some more editing to make it look a bit more polished, but as a stock model it works. The poly count of this as you would imagine is very low at 50 polygons. Below can be seen the model without textures:
This pattern of inversed squares is replicated on each side and below you can see it with the textures partially applied:
As can be seen there is the pattern applied to the model through the texture without having to actually make an indent which would result in more polygons being used. There is no point to having a high polygon stock model. Below can be seen the screenshots of the product at its current stage:

So there's my first stock model. I hope you like it, its not too exciting but it does the job that it's meant to.

This is Tyramatt, signing off the second time today.

Stock Assets and other Projects

Right. On reading week now, so I can get down to making some more work to show off for the first time in forever! I've got some plans and am going to make some stock assets. These being some models that can be used in various situations for example crates, barrels etc. I'm probably going to make the crate model today, possibly the barrel model as well. These will be low poly models, so the textures will really make these stand out.

Another thing on my list is one of the lesser known Superteams, and if they are known its for all the wrong reasons... Want to know who? Guess.

The grinder tank is at the bottom of the to do list at the moment. Needs to be retextured as well as the changes I mentioned a couple of posts ago.

Also got a outdoor level in mind... Gonna have to put some more thought into it though so don't expect it anytime soon.

Well I hope you enjoyed at least knowing what i'm up to, hopefully if I get around to modelling today renders will be up tomorrow!

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Long Overdue Post - Game Reviews

Hello and welcome to Tyramatt's Irregular Game Review Segment. This is not just a way to distract from the fact that I haven't got any 3D work to show... So lets get down to the games that I have been playing since I last posted.

Resistance: Fall of Man
A game I have never actually played before, this was a bit of a blast from the PS3's rocky beginnings. A PS3 launch title and I thought with the highly anticipated Resistance 3 coming out in the next year, I best catch up to speed. So what did I think of the game? For a PS3 launch title, the obvious cracks show. It is way too short, but the premise is great. The storytelling is lacking, but the gameplay is brilliant. You could make a list of the good and bad points of this game, but these would come to about the same number, depending on how much detail you went into. What score would I give Resistance: Fall of Man? Well it provided a good start to the early PS3 lineup but if anything it was let down by the poor game line on release overall. That does hurt it a bit. I'm also running it against other things that were out at the same time to be fair to it. Overall I would give Resistance: Fall of Man 6/10. I've judged this game by the lineup of the time, so there will be no Modern Warfare 2 comparisions here! Now lets see whats next on the slab...

God of War 1 and 2
I'm judging these two games together as I played them in quick succession. I was playing Resistance: Fall of Man and the two God of War games at the same time, which made for an interesting contrast. Whereas Resistance was a competant FPS which switched out the areas mission by mission, both God of War 1 and 2 use a very small number of locations despite being as long as these games take to complete. Like Resistance: Fall of Man, I have never played the God of War games until now. I started playing them, again to play the third one in the trilogy so far. God of War's combat flows smoothly as i'm sure anyone who has heard of the games knows so that is not worth mentioning. My problem with the first game in particular was that the game seemed to be dragged out slightly more than neccessary. The second game fixed this to an extent, but not entirely. Both of the God of War endings were pieces of brilliance, but again if you have played the games, there is no point mentioning them. Overall both God of War 1 and 2 deserve the same score because they carry on the same story so well. I would give them a 8/10 just by the skin of it's teeth.

Dead Rising 2 (First Impressions)
I picked up Dead Rising 2 as a bit of a time killing simulator. I wanted to kill some zombies, but without going back to Call of Duty: World at War's Nazi variety. I soon found out what Dead Rising 2 was. A game that I have very conflicting opinions about. On one hand I do not want to be doing sidequests. I can understand why they put them in as some people like doing sidequests, but why would you not put measures in place so that you can wait for a certain amount of time? It would make sense if you could do it in the safehouse, but you can't. I spent 24 minutes waiting for the next mission to start in the worst time I have ever had with a game. On the other hand in one of the more compotent game design choices I have ever seen in a game, when you die you have the option of starting the whole game again, but keeping your character's stat increases, levels, etc. I have decided to restart mine because i'm stuck on a boss fight that is actually very creepy. You will see when you get to it. Just remember these words. "They are not alive". So far I can't really give this game a score, so will tack it on to the next game review segment I do.

Resistance 2 (First Impressions)
Ok. So I cheated slightly by not combining Resistance: Fall of Man with this one, but I haven't completed this one yet. I'm about 57% through it. This game is a massive improvement on the last one in the sense of combat, narritive, and gameplay overall. Unlike the first one you can only carry 2 weapons, I didn't mention earlier that you keep every weapon you pick upin the first one, which keeps combat plain and simplified. This is a good thing! It can be frustrating at times to have to scroll through all of your weapons to find the right situational weapon. The storytelling is dramatically changed from narration over still sketches to full cutscenes, of which i'm guessing that the narration over sketches was a ploy to get it out on release, and is improved for it. If there are two points in which this game is lacking from the first they are the navigation, and the pacing. The problem with the navigation stems into two fields, the navigation points, and the open areas. The navigation points are not used all the time and when they are they range from pointless, to useless. Some points end up being 4 metres away, and others can be 200 metres away, but you cannot go straight to them because you have to go through about 15 buildings. It is just not as polished as I thought it would be. The pacing is also terrible, switching out locations as fast as the first, but there is alot more going on in a short time. Its like the game is throwing everything it wants into as little time as possible. Again, as I haven't completed this game yet, the game score will be tacked on to the next game review section.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Game To Film Transition - Good Thing?

Silent Hill. One of the most unique game series of my time. Now with the release of Silent Hill 8 imminent, I thought it would be right to give my opinion on what I consider to be one of the best, and yet worst, transitions from game series to film. The Silent Hill film.

There are many problems with this film that hardcore Silent Hill fans will rip this film to shreds for, but if you judge it as a stand alone film with little to no connection to any established cannon from the games it can be a real treat to watch. I will just say it, I love this film. I watched it before playing any Silent Hill games and I absolutly adored it. Before anyone gets their shotguns ready and starts heading for my house I will clarify why. Knowing little of the Silent Hill franchise before I watched the film I thought it was a cleverly executed film of a popular game. When pyramid head came out I thought "Jesus, thats cool". I know many people hated the fact that pyramid head was in the film, but i'll get to that.

Now that I have played almost all of the games except for Silent Hill Homecoming all the way through, I can see the glaring flaws in the story if you consider all Silent Hill related media in the same great timeline. I won't make a point to note them as this will take all day, but I will explain the pyramid head fiasco.

Pyramid Head is essentially the punisher of Silent Hill. He kills murderers. Many people hate the fact that he was in the Silent Hill film, but in case you haven't noticed he doesn't do anything! He just walks into a room, and then leaves! It could have jsut been a coincedence that he was in the room! Stop being soo angry about things that don't exist!

A film that would be a good transition if executed properly though? Siren Blood Curse. It is essentially a movie in itself at the moment. With the same story and cinematography it could introduce a completely different audience to what is a very underrated game universe.

That is all for now. Will be doing some 3D modelling soon, and will upload screenshots in the next two weeks or so.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Of Anime and Games

It goes without saying that I love anime. I will watch almost anything once, but for an episode to drag me in it has to have one heck of a intriging episode. There are many differentiating factors in anime but one of the first things that you come across is the opening.

Most anime openings are very generic nowadays, but some good animes that have started recently have broken the mould and have had openings that are actually relevant to the anime rather than just showing the characters standing there while music plays. High School of the Dead's opening is a good example of a opening done well. It shows off the characters well while keeping them believable and giving them a small amount of character right off the bat. Another opening of honourable mention goes to Working!! which did show all of the characters standing while giving the illusion of movement, but at the same time gave us an idea of what the characters contributed to the story.

For a while now main characters in anime have been very generic and you really could mix and match anime main characters and not get much variety. But the anime main characters that stand out are the ones that adapt to their surroundings. Anime most of the time requires a plot device, and I say most of the time mainly because of Lucky Star in which the only plot device was that they were building up to performing a dance, and even that plot element was put aside for most of the season! The way to make a main character likable in my opinion is to establish a character in the first few episodes and then make them change slowly considering the surroundings. Its called Character Development children.

If your anime has a team or supporting characters (I personally am waiting for a recent anime to only have one character and still be good), they need to be well established and each get the screentime they deserve. Need more main characters than Occult Academy but possibly less than High School of the Dead.

If you want my opinion on Anime, go check out the list below:
  • Occult Academy
  • Working!!
  • High School of the Dead
  • Gantz
  • K-ON!
  • Ookami-san to Shicinin no Nakamatachi
This brings me to my next point though. Why does the transition from anime to game happen so easily in Japan (I know its where it is recognised as a traditional form of media, but i'll get to that), and not in Europe! I for one would like to see more Anime games especially from the more recent anime releases. It can't be that hard for High School of the Dead at least. Surely.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


No update today i'm afraid.

Got no stuff to show.

What are you still doing here?

Check back on friday!

Go Away!


Monday, 6 September 2010

3:10 to Ikea

I have been dreading this you know? Not because I don't like modelling tables or furniture or anything like that. Just because my desk is so over the top full of rubbish I honestly can't see the colour of the top of the desk. Well enough whining out of me, lets dive right into modelling My Desk.

I started off by creating the simple objects that make up my desk in the first place (My Desk is mostly Cylinders and Cuboids anyway). Then these were pu
t together and dimensions were modified to make it look like the general shape of the desk.The next item to deal with was the stoppers at the bottom of the desk that ended off the metal pipes at the bottom and the pads at the bottom. To do this I simply created another sphere and made it alot thinner so that it looked more like a fatter disc than a thin sphere. These were made as wide as the metal pipes and slotted into the front of the pipes. Then these were cloned and made thinner still so that they looked completely flat. These then went to be the supporting base of the pipes on the floor.
You may have noticed that the colour of the pipes had changed in the seco
nd picture. This is because it has! It may sound stupid when coming to texturing, but the metal pipes of my desk, after the many years of me owning it has become grey (Or maybe it was grey to begin with? Ikea isn't really the center for high quality metal that will be shiny forever!). So I used the grey colour texture for all of the metal parts.
The next step was to create a slight rounded effect for the edge of the top unit. To do this I used the slice plan to turn the whole ring round edge of the top wooden unit and made one polygon into 3 polygons. Then the middle polygon was moved out to create the effect that my desk has on the edge.
The next part was to start texturing. I got some feedback from my tank on my opinion of UV Wrapping, so yes the tank will be retextured AFTER the new parts are added starting next monday. I actually used UV Wrapping for the table edge so lets get started discussing that. I got a texture off the web of wooden stripes (Link will be at bottom of post. Links will function in this way from now on) and applied this to the edges of the
table. Then after adding the UV Wrapping modifier to it, I made it repeat itself alot more widthwise and repeat itself less heightwise. Below you can see the end result of that.
You may notice that the top texture already applied. That because it
was and I forgot to get a print screen of it.... Whoops... Lets cover that now then. For the top and bottom of the upper unit I used the same wooden texture (This texture was also used for the back wooden part, which will not be covered in detail), with the same UV Wrapping technique that was used for the desk edge. The different was that this texture was made shorter and wider before repeating. For the back panel the texture was made very small so it could repeat alot through UV Wrapping. Below can be seen the textures after being applied.

And below can be seen the fully rendered product. This may be used again, as in some sort of room, but for now it is going to be filed under "Completed".

So that was a big post wasn't it! Just so you know, regular posts will not be as long as this, just wanted to go through this in detail. See you guys on Wednesday where we will look at modelling a games console!

Links: Desk Edge:

Desk Top:

Desk Model is the property of Matthew Nunn Copyright 2010(c)

I claim no copyright over any of the textures used.

Friday, 3 September 2010

...And heres part 2!

Well it was promised, and here it is! The tank that is finished to a certain extent. There are still parts to be added to it which are as follows:
  • Hatch Handle
  • Ladder
  • Headlights
  • Observation Hatches
  • Mini Turret
Here is the somewhat finished product from various angles:
Work on this project will take a sideline for a couple of updates as I would like to work on some other projects un-vehicle related, but updates applying to the tank will resume on Monday 13th September. For the next week there will be updates relating to modelling simple 3D Objects.

Tank Model is the property of Matthew Nunn Copyright 2010(c)

I claim no copyright over any of the textures used.

Texturing Problems? What Texturing Problems?

A double update today for you lucky, lucky people. The texturing has been done, by just applying the texture of rusty metal to the individual parts of the tank. UV Mapping was tried, but it was deemed to actually look better to select and apply the texture to different parts of the tank rather than stretching the texture over the entire thing.For those who don't know what UV Mapping is, it is a tool that you can use to move the dimensions of the texture to decide how many times to repeat, how big the original picture should be when texturing etc. In my opinion, a useful tool but not always the right one.

The texture for the tank I used was a standard rusty metal texture that I found online, but again have been unable to locate again at this time. For the track covers I used a googled image of a metal sheet with rivets in it which I have not got the source for. The track covers were UV Mapped however. This was because I wanted the texture to repeat along the axis that went straight along the tank.

The tracks were textured using a black rubber texture found on google. It was from the website: Again, this was just applied to the tank tracks normally with no UV Mapping. Screenshots of the Tank as it is now will be uploaded at a later time. The tank is not finished as it stands, there are some finer details that need to be added as well as some more obvious items that must be added.

Tank Model is the property of Matthew Nunn Copyright 2010(c)

I claim no copyright over any of the textures used.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Trouble With Hills

As for manouverability, modern day tanks seem to be very stuck in their ways, and I can respect that. They found a system that works and I can see why they stuck with it. The idea behind my tank's manouvering system works in the same, but not the same way if you know what I am trying to say. The tracks would work in the same way as modern tanks for turning, which from what I have researched would be slowing down one side of the tracks to go a different direction. This can give the tank a 0 meter turning circle.
Another point that can be made in the front track's favour is the ability of this particular tank to be able to angle its front track to a certain extent. This would make it able to go up and down hills with ease, becoming less likely to get stuck on different angles of hill.
Another point I would like to touch upon at this juncture is the track covers. I decided to add these to the vehicle to add what I consider to be another dimension of sensibility. It would simply not be realistic to have exposed tracks on a applicable military vehicle. I went quite simple on the track supports, and there will be more on the supporting of the tank and of texturing in the next post.

The last point to mention is the hatch which can be seen on top of the tank. This is just to function as a believable way to get into the vehicle. There will be more modelling to be done to add to the tank, but we will talk more about this when we get to it.

Weapons of Mass

Ahh yes. Weaponry. The great evil of our time. In my opinion a vehicle like a tank has to have more of a melee weapon that of simply running over the oppossing army. I had watched the film "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" recently (Very good film), and it was the device used to grind up the meat that inspired my design of the weapon that shall be known as "The Grinder".
The Grinder is based as well by a design for a lawnmower I found by have been unable to relocate at this time. The idea was that while the front saw would drag them in, they would be sliced up by the rest of the blades. I was going to add some sort of scoop to the front, but I deemed that this would make the tank less realistic as it could create the problem of going up hills, to be discussed in the next post.

No copyright infringement intended for the following:
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Edit: Manouverability will be covered in the next post.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Currently working on a tank. For this project I was first inspired by the idea of the boats that the soldiers of WWII stormed the beaches on D-Day. I got to thinking, could the idea of men being transported and rapid deployment like this be transfered to some sort of new military vehicle?
The result was a body shape that I deemed appropriate. This can be seen above with the tracks on that have been modelled.

The next thing to think about was what anyone designing a military vehicle would think about. Weaponry.