Sam’s Rant – 2009 Video Games, Part 1

29 04 2010

Sam’s Rant

2009 Video Games

Before I start this Rant I would just like to point out that I really like Video Games, they give me a lot of fun and enjoyment.

Well another year has passed and what a year it’s been. Governments all over the world have been working hard to take us out of Moneygeddon and also how to give us headaches by making us do recycling, if it was up to me I would just fling my rubbish into the bin. But of course were not allowed to do that anymore and we must all buy rubbish cars (according to Top Gear) which are friendly to the environment. Not for me however because when I have enough money for driving lessons, the car, fuel and insurance I’m going to buy a HUMMER.  Also we must pay 1p for our carrying bags. But enough of all that lets take a look at Video Games from 2009.

Every year the games industry holds many events for the gaming community. March saw the return of GDC (Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco (America). E3 returned in June, more on that later, QuakeCon 2009 was staged at the Hilton Hotel in Dallas Texas (America) which I can’t comment on because I have no idea what it is. BlizzCon oh I can’t be bothered. September was the month for PAX 2009 and GCA 2009 alongside a major show, The Tokyo Games Show 2009. There was also the Eurogamer EXPO in both Leeds and London in which I was able to go to (the Leeds one that is). Then rounding off the year was Infinite Bits 2009 in Miami, iDEF 2009 in Melbourne and GameOn! In London. Hmm I wonder what happened to Leipzig and UbiDays, strange.

January didn’t have much in the way of releases. Saints Row 2 was released for Windows. This wasn’t much of a big release partly because the game was released the previous October but mostly because most gamers (I’m not one of them) think PC gaming is no more. Lord of the Rings Conquest was released, isn’t it about time that we stopped thinking about those films, yes they were good (NOT GREAT) but I think we’ve milked everything we can out of the franchise, actually when you come to think about it those films didn’t really meet up to expectations. Sim Animals was released; HURRAY we could play as animals instead of people, I can’t with hold my excitement, I’M JOKING, THE SIMS IS RUBBISH. Once again for the 5 Millionth Billionth Trillionth time a game was released based on films, this time it was Corraline, Why do we even bother. That’s it.

In February I went to ANIMEX with some people with college. It was a brilliant couple of days. The Premier Inn Adverts don’t lie; it really was a good night’s sleep. I also met lots of people from the games industry as they talked about how themselves in the Games Industry. I even got to meet Ian Livingstone OBE, one of the Founder of Games Workshop and one of the people who co-created Lara Croft. While I was there during one talk about the Downloadable Content of a game I Loathe I was introduced to the greatest Heavy Metal Band in the history of music, METALLICA. Since then they have become my Second Favourite Band after PENDULUM.

Tenchu 4 arrived in America (I had to wait until April before I could play it), it’s not a bad game, it’s pretty hard but it makes you think of the THIEF games and how good those games were, it’s a nice blend of stealth gameplay with some silent action. Speaking of THIEF; THIEF 4 has officially been announced (Announced a few months after Square Enix bought Eidos) and is now currently in production. The highly weird game Deadly Creatures was released with Dennis Hopper being involved for no un-explored reason. The game sees the player playing as either a Scorpion or a Lizard, WEIRD but moving on. The House of the DEAD OVERKILL was released for Nintendo Wii, made by UK developer Headstrong Games; this is one title I would quite like to play. Street Fighter returned after a long time with Street Fighter 4 another game I fancy playing but it still doesn’t look as good as MORTAL KOMBAT. The first of the GTA 4 Episodic content was released. The highly anticipated War Hammer 40000 Dawn of War 2 was released; I still have to play the first one. ENDWAR was finally released for PC (I still have to play it). With House of the Dead OVERKILL released earlier in the month another one turned up for the Wii, DEAD RISING: Chop till you Drop (the game is set in a shopping mall). HALO WARS was released for the 360, An RTS for the 360 that’s not on PC, MAD. Apparently the game works quite well and it was also the last game developed by Legendary Studio Ensemble Studios (The people behind the Age of Empires Series) before they were merged into Microsoft.

Ensemble Studios weren’t the only ones to close this past year, many companies started to go under thanks to Moneygeddon. The biggest of them being MIDWAY. MIDWAY have had a long and successful life. From them we have received the game MORTAL KOMBAT alongside some other major titles. They were one of if not the biggest Arcade Game Developers during the 1980’s and 1990’s. They have published many successful games as well including Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. It’s kind of hard to see why they closed down. But it’s not all sad. MIDWAY were bought out by Warner Bros Interactive and became part of that company. Thanks to this MORTAL KOPMBAT 9 is in production and should be released sometime in late 2010.

In my opinion the best Shooting game of 2009 was KILLZONE 2 for the PlayStation 3. I didn’t get to play this game until May but this is by far the best shooting game from 2009. The sense of realism in an unrealistic game alongside a cinematic experience and gameplay that so immersive it makes you feel like you’re part of it. A Truly Fantastic Game.

Part 2 Next


Sam’s Rant – 2008 Video Games, Part 3

26 04 2010

Sam’s Rant

2008 Video Games

October saw the release of Saints Row 2 which does look like a very good game and I think I’ll get because it looks GREAT. “YAHTZEE” claimed it is a lot better than GTA 4. Nintendo released a FUN FUN FUN music game in the form of Wii Music showing that music can be fun to play (and you don’t need to fork out £5 billion pounds on instruments. During a college assignment, I was introduced to ZERO PUNCTUATION run by the escapist and produced by Ben “YAHTZEE Croshaw. Very funny and thanks to him I started these RANTS. Check it out on the ESCAPIST (WWW.ESCAPISTMAGAZINE.COM). Dead Space was released which revealed to us that all Sci-Fi HORROR is the same and not worth looking at anymore. Jamie CHILD HATER Oliver released a game for the DS about cooking.

Fable 2 was released (I wouldn’t bother with that one) and fallout 3 was also released which shows that nuclear warfare can be fun if you include a super mutants. Little Big Planet was finally released proving to be Sony’s biggest game in quite a while with its User Generated Community allowing users to Generate their own Levels. MOTORSTORM 2 was released with the introduction of MONSTER TRUCKS. NINTENDO announced the Launch of the Nintendo DSi, a new version of the DS. The biggest release in October by far was Far Cry 2. Far Cry 2 is a FANTASTIC looking game based in Africa and even though I have not played it (YET) I would nominate it for GAME OF THE YEAR because it looks so GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. Oh yeah, MySims Kingdom was released on the Wii.

November rolled in once again with the release of TOM CLANCYS ENDWAR. The first game which allows you to control the entire game using your voice. Resistance 2 arrived for the PS3 with really good reviews. Call of Duty World at War was released showing how rubbish, boring and PANTS WW2 was and is. Mirrors Edge was released, GOOD IDEA, PANTS GAME but worth another try. FUN games were released in November with the release of Sonic Unleashed and Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party. NFS Undercover arrived trying to get fans back into the series but was still RUBBISH in the end. If NEED FOR SPEED wants to be good again go back to making UNDERGROUND. Mortal Kombat versus DC was released trying to show us that Mortal Kombat’s “STILL GOT IT”. Animal Crossing arrived on Wii and to tell you the truth it’s not a bad game, very enjoyable and FUN. World of Warcraft got another expansion pack allowing players to kill the Lich King for the 10000000000000000000000000 MILLIONTH TIME. The FUN looking LEFT 4 DEAD was released but unfortunately I am unable to play it because everyone in my course was hogging it and denying me a go on it. Gears of War POO (2) was released in November with 360 owners drooling at the mouth just by looking at a poster. The game got good reviews but not from me because the game looks RUBBISH (apart from multiplayer). The game features the return of a hybrid weapon, the gun with a chainsaw attached. How is the gun still able to function with the chainsaw on it, people with a brain (not 360 owners) would realise that the chainsaw would stop the gun from working. Obviously the game did well and sold well with 360 owners breaking themselves away from modern life and all their friends while playing Gears of War POO (2 rhymes with POO).

Not much happened in December except for Christmas. Prince of Persia was released but fizzled out thankfully because it didn’t look finished and far too 2D.  

The pilot episode of GAME DAMAGE was premiered on GAMEDAMAGE.NET and YOUTUBE. GAME DAMAGE is run by the co-owners of Australian Gamer, YUG and Matt along with ZERO PUNCTUATION’s own Ben “YAHTZEE” Croshaw. GAME DAMAGE is not a review show, it is more a show on talking about Games but GAME DAMAGE is a very good show and quite funny and entertaining. Currently there is only one show mainly because GAME DAMAGE requires sponsors to pay for the running costs of the show. When GAME DAMAGE gets sponsors they’ll be able to create more shows. WATCH IT (WWW.GAMEDAMAGE.NET).

So how about some Predictions for 2009. I predict that E3 will return to the way it used to be, 360 owners will get jealous when God of War 3 is released. People will get bored with SIMS 3 when they finally realise it’s the same game. A special version of the XBOX 360 will be released coloured in pink and be called – JUST FOR GIRLS – but many men will buy it anyway. Another Final Fantasy will be released and the developers will realise what a bad choice they’ve made in making the series in the first place. ACTIVISION will release another Guitar Hero allowing players to act wildly on big pieces of plastic that will cost £7500. ACTIVISION will also NOT release any good games in 2009 either. Shooters will be great again with the release of my most look forward too games, The Conduit (Wii), MAG (PS3), and the sequel to my favourite Wii game, RED STEEL 2 (Wii, previous game being RED STEEL).

But for 2008 what would my favourite game be. There are multiple games to choose from including Mario Kart Wii, Frontlines: Fuel of War and Far Cry 2 but my favourite game of 2008 is easy, well what else could it be than Mario Kart Wii.

Sam’s Rant – 2009 Video Games arrives this Thursday (Friday at the Latest).


Sam’s Rant – 2008 Video Games, Part 2

19 04 2010

Sam’s Rant

2008 Video Games

May began with the release of Iron Man the game which came out before the film which may have spoilt the film slightly (NOT). Games based on films are never the same no matter what you say. I wouldn’t buy the game any way and ruin the best film of 2008 (you will know this if you read my Film Awards). Steven Spielberg released his first game exclusively on Wii called BOOM BLOX which does look quite funny and FUN. Who wouldn’t like a game which involves blowing stuff up (including sheep shaped like blocks), oh yeah, that’s right, ACTIVISION. Haze was finally released in May but because it was in development for so long it did get bad reviews. Haze does look like a good game and if it had a bit more tuning it could have been one of the games of the year. Race driver Grid was released and it taught me that when moving at high speed I should hit the break when cornering, usually because I’m under the assumption that if you keep the accelerator on you won’t loose speed when going round the corner.

During the year GAMERTV ended and was replaced by PLAYR. PLAYR had a lot to do to replace GAMERTV but is already a brilliant show (Sunday’s 11:00am only on Bravo), even though they wouldn’t stop talking about Race Driver Grid for 5 weeks on end.

June saw the happy return of my birthday when I received Wii-Fit on the Wii and it does work if you work hard at it. I did for a while and went from 21 stone to 19 stone, and then I began not to use it as much after I went on holiday. The Bourne Conspiracy arrived (not based on a film) with the first time I heard about quick time events SADLY. Many big games arrived in June including the long awaited Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots which looked to me like every other Metal Gear Solid game, TOO HARD FOR ME TO PLAY and that’s why I haven’t bought it. Alone in the Dark finally arrived with many people saying how good it is. Another MEGA HARD game arrived in the form of Ninja Gaiden 2 which does look quite interesting but it looks so hard I won’t buy it. If you read some of my earlier rants you will know that I hate Guitar Hero and Rockband which was released during June. Oh yeah if you want to play some Aerosmith in Guitar Hero you were asked to fork out the cost of 9 PS3’s to pay for the guitar and the game. Super Smash Bros Brawl finally reached UK shelves with many positive reviews.

This was the biggest game in the series to date with the main designer revealing a new thing about the game every day until its release. Online play is included along with a level designer. This game has also the largest cast in the series including two characters from other franchises including Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake. I can’t comment on the game mainly because I haven’t got it.

July did not see much game releases (well, non that were interesting at least) but did see the welcome return of E3. At least I thought so; many people complained about the way it is run nowadays (try to keep up with the long words) small and invitational. But some good games are still announced every year. The conferences started with Microsoft when Peter Molyneux lied on stage claiming that Fable 2 was finished, 5 weeks later at a games conference in Brighton it was apparent that the game was still being worked on. Microsoft’s conference went from bad to worse when they showed off their avatars, the room went silent and never recovered. Nintendo’s conference was better but still a bit more casual to the previous year but held announcements about some really big games including Animal Crossing – Lets go to the City (name changed from City Folk to Lets go to the City), Wii Sports Resort, Wii Speak, Wii Motion Plus, New Legend of Zelda and Super Mario, and the big news that Grand Theft Auto is on its way to the DS with GTA China Town Wars. Sony’s conference was the biggest and best with new games announced including Infamous, Resistance 2 and God of War 3. New announcements about Home were released with the introduction of specialized spaces. But the BIG news from all of E3 came from SONY with the announcement of MAG (Massive Action Game) on the PS3. MAG is being developed by Zipper Interactive (they make the SOCOM series) and includes large multiplayer games online with up to 256 players in a match. MAG is looking to be one of the biggest, best and most promising games EVER.

In July the CGS returned for a second series (Championship Gaming Series) with many gaming countries battling it out for the World Title. Teams battled it out on 4 different games – Dead Or Alive (2 rounds played – Male Round, man against man and Female round, girl against girl), Forza Motor sport (replacing PGR from the previous year), Counter Strike Source and FIFA 08. The final match of the series was a match between the San Francisco OPTIX and The Birmingham SALVO with the Salvo winning (Birmingham SALVO is the first team from both England and Europe to win the World Title).

August saw the release of Race Driver Grid on the Nintendo DS, this was the first major game to be released in August and as far as I see it a bad idea – What makes this one different from all the others. TOOOOOOOO HUMAN was released onto the 360 (a game that was originally intended to be released onto the PS ONE – its pretty obvious that they’ve never heard of deadlines). TOOOOOOOO HUMAN is also a bad idea due to the idea that a NORSE God can be killed with a gun. Oh wait that’s right you don’t die, you enter a pointless cut scene showing that you can’t actually die.

This has happened quite a lot in games this year with the whole notion that if you die you don’t die and some how get rescued from the brink (Prince of Persia). Another SIMS expansion pack was launched and Mercenaries 2 (or as Ben “YAHTZEE” Croshaw calls – Air Strikes 2, HOORAY for Air Strikes) World in Flames. Recently I looked at Mercenaries with its bizarre look and play and have realised that it is no more than a clone of DUKE NUKEM (with better game play and graphics).

September rolled in with the release of Face Breaker (a really good looking boxing game with what it says) being released, closely followed by Will Wrights SPORE. Spore was a pretty good looking game until after you have installed it and realised that you are required to register the game online first which can be a serious problem if your internet connection is down (WHICH IT FLAMING WAS). When you overcome this problem the game settles down and becomes a very enjoyable game, the idea that you can let your imagination “RUN WILD” (Hulk Hogan Reference). After a while however the game becomes extremely repetitive the more times you play it, and whatever you do not download any of the available patches (IT STOPS YOU FROM PLAYING THE GAME AND YOU NEED TO REINSTALL THE GAME WHICH TAKES FOREVER). The only real good bit about SPORE is the Cell and Creature phase. If a game was released with just the CELL phase only it could be really good. In September my Games Development Course started and currently is really enjoyable. MIDWAY released TNA Impact the game and got really bad reviews and has financially offset the company. Rock Band 2 was released on the 360 in the US with news that ACDC were going to be in it, WHO. Who would want Rock Band 2 when Rock Band 1 has only just been released? The Expansion for the graphically overpowering game CRYSIS was released with CRYSIS WARHEAD. The extremely PANTS game Brothers in Arms was released with many reviewers saying just how pants it is and explained why it is a good reason to stop making WW2 games. Disaster Day of Crisis was released for the Wii (Highly anticipated Wii game) after so long in production. Finally the newest game in the Sonic Chronicles series was released on the DS, Dark Chronicles, Not much to say on that. Another MEGA HARD GAME was released in the form of STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED which did look like a good game but I can’t get it because it is supposed to be MEGA HARD.

Part 3 Next Week


Sam’s Rant – 2008 Video Games, Part 1

13 04 2010

Sam’s Rant

2008 Video Games

Before I start this rant I would just like to point out that I really like video games, they give me a lot of fun and enjoyment.

Another year has passed and all over the world people are currently looking at Barrack Obama wondering if he can cleanup the mess created by the former 10 year old president of the USA, George W Stupid going to the toilet in a Bush. Apart from all this let’s take a look at the major video games from 2008.

2008 was filled with many gaming events with E3 taking a back seat and carrying on with its refurbishment and annoying the games community in the new way it works (I still like it). It now seems that Leipzig will become the new E3, more on that later. Ubidays was pretty good with Ubisoft showing off some new games in the Tom Clancy series including HAWX and ENDWAR, a game that allows you to control the game using your voice. Also at Ubidays, Ubisoft showed off the first game which you can control with your bum (quite a good idea), Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party.

In January not much happened in video games with the first big release (NOT REALLY) being Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. Sonic Riders involves you racing while riding (OBVIOUSLY) on surf boards. Sonic returns a few days later in the DS version of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games which includes more events than the brilliant Wii version including cycling (I was a bit annoyed at this but this eventually drizzled out). In January Burnout Paradise was released and it reacquainted us with that old Guns and Roses song Paradise City. You know the one “Take me down to the Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty”. Most of 2008 has involved watching America for the elections but also it saw the moment when the USA or the U(S)SOA (United (STUPID) States Of America) stole some games from us before they were released including Super Smash Bros Brawl when they received it in March while Japan got their hands on it in January. This was seen as one of the biggest games of the year but I cant comment on it yet because I haven’t got it.

February was a lot better with the cinema release of the Monster Movie CLOVERFIELD. Sins of a Solar Empire was released and I did not notice it until June and it does look like one of the Best Original Games this year but most XBOX 360 players wouldn’t give it a notice because they’ve mainly locked themselves in their bedrooms and out of real life, eating their duvets with a 3 tog rating, drooling out of the mouth in wait for Gears of War POO (I mean 2) to be released. The long awaited Devil May Cry 4 was released in February with many reviews (well one) saying the game was extremely repetitive, boring and down right stupid but overall giving it a good score. I wouldn’t play a game like that partly because it looks like a cross between Final Fantasy and Ninja Gaiden but mostly because it looks RUBBISH.

The Club was released and that to me sounds like a good game, I mean who wouldn’t fork out £40 to play a game where you can shoot people for points that includes the line “First rule of the CLUB, You don’t talk about the CLUB” (Fight Club Reference there). Agatha Christie released the game Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None, moving on. Need for Speed Pro (Pro stands for professional) Street was released promising to be the next big game in the Need for Speed series (or NFS as they call it which sounds like a football league). It promised big things after it was announced that it was being developed by a new studio made up of people who make Need for Speed (EA BLACK BOX). It said it would be better than carbon but in fact it was a lot worse (I don’t have it but even I could see that). Turok was released but looked a lot like Unreal Tournament with Dinosaurs. During February 2 good games were released and became 2 of my favourite games of the year. The sequel to the hit Game Cube game Battalion Wars, Battalion Wars 2 on the Wii. A very good storyline mixed with good game play and the first independent third party game to announce online multiplayer for the Wii. BWii as it was sometimes called got extremely positive reviews especially from me, well worth the buy. The other was Frontlines Fuel of War for the PC and 360. Extremely positive reviews and a good first game by KAOS studios. Excellent game play and story, hoping for a sequel and one of the games I would nominate for game of the year. Turning point fall of liberty was a good idea and I liked the look of it even more when GAMERTV showed a gun battle scene with some heavy rock music. But the game came out very poorly which was a big shame especially after what the developers said about it. “It’s a lot of fun shooting Nazi’s”. If worked on a bit more it could have been great. Also there was another expansion pack for the SIMS.

In March the long awaited and good looking Army of Two was released. When I originally heard of this title in 2007 I got it mixed up with Kane and Lynch but that aside Army of Two looks great. Arcade games came back into fashion with the release of House of the Dead: 2 and 3 return for the Wii. The only arcade shooter I bought this year on the Wii was the extremely fun Ghost Squad that aside it was a good return. Another Tom Clancy game was released in the form of Rainbow Six Vegas Two which does sound like football scores. Command and Conquer 3 was released for the 9 millionth time for the PC and 360, moving on. The worst game in March and probably the year was Alone in the Dark RIP-OFF Dark Sector. This game was obviously Gears of War with a giant spiky Glaive which fulfilled absolutely no purpose what so ever, in fact it was Gears of War if you look at it long enough but worse than that (seeing as Gears of War is PANTS). Probably one of the best moments in gaming was in March at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) when Bill Gates used Slash from Velvet Revolver to cheat for him in a competition on Guitar Hero.

When April arrived everyone turned on their television screens to watch one of the best ever television adverts. The Grand Theft Auto 4 Advert where he is walking through the City with that excellent music which draws you in to the advert. The day of release for GTA 4 was big seeing as the day later people in my IT course were coming up to me and wouldn’t stop talking about it.

A week later they did probably because they had lost their voices with non-stop talking. GTA 4 or GTA 7 if you include Vice city and its comrades was a well come break from spin-offs and did look very promising, Which it was but I still have to play it. Assassins creed was finally released on the PC but its moment in the spotlight occurred in the previous November. Supreme Commander finally made it way onto the 360 but I have the PC version so I didn’t need to play it (mainly because I don’t have a 360). The best game of April was of course Mario Kart Wii on the Wii. It is so good it is a good thing we got it before those idiotic Americans. One of my favourite games of the year and a whole lot of fun (something which seems to be missing in most XBOX 360 Games).

Part 2 Next Week


The Main Event

9 04 2010


In a few weeks (before May) I will be posting up what is in my opinion the Main Event (or at least top 5) of my blog for the year of 2010.

The 2009 Video Games Rant. The Rant is currently in production and may take some time before I post it up but its coming. Starting Next Week I will be posting up the 2008 Video Games Rant for you to see what happened in Video Games 2 years ago. A lot can happen in 2 years.

So before May will be one of the Main Events of the blog for the year if not THE MAIN EVENT, Coming Soon.


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