Thursday, 22 April 2010

My Incomplete Games List

I've seen people do post like this a few times (especially you jackanape :P) and I've decided I shall bother to do one for myself. This post is probably going to take me a while to write up as there's a lot of games I have not completed but I am curious to see how high the number is. Here I go then, in alphabetical order!

A-Train - 610/1000
Aegis Wing - 170/200
Afro Samurai - 965/1000
Age of Booty - 160/200
Alone in the Dark - 950/1000
Assassin's Creed - 125/1000
Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts - 130/1250
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat - 115/1000
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - 675/1060
Beautiful Katamari - 495/1250
Bee Movie Game - 670/1000
Bejeweled 2 - 10/2000
Beijing 2008 - 430/1000
Beowulf - 460/1000
Bionical Heroes - 940/1000
Boom Boom Rocket - 85/200
Bomberman Live - 10/200
Brain Challenge - 160/200
Bully - 180/1000
Bulletwitch - 250/1000
Burnout Paradise - 5/1250
Burnout Revenge - 490/1000
Call of Duty 3 - 425/1000
Call of Juarez - 440/1000
Cars - 900/1000
Cars Race-O-Rama - 900/1000 (glitched, not my fault)
Chromehounds - 20/1000
Condemned - 440/975
Condemned 2: Bloodshot - 240/1000
Crash of the Titans - 313/1000
Crystal Quest - 160/200
Dark Sector - 30/1000
Dead or Alive 4 - 210/1000
Dead Rising - 40/1000
Def Jam Icon - 30/1000
DJ Hero - 600/1000
Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires - 730/1000
Duke Nukem 3D - 10/200
Enchanted Arms - 125/1000
Fable II - 1000/1350
Family Game Nights - 200/1400
Facebreaker - 625/1000
Far Cry Instincts Predator - 470/1000
Fatal Inertia - 340/1000
FIFA 08 - 295/1000
FIFA 10 - 210/1250
FlatOut Ultimate Carnage - 435/1000
Football Manager 2006 - 325/1000
Forza Motorsport 2 - 970/1000
Forza Motorsport 3 - 460/1000
Frogger - 140/200
Full Auto 915/1000
Gears of War - 60/1250
Gears of War 2 - 65/1750
Geometry Wars Evolved - 20/200
GRAW - 125/1000
Guitar Hero Aerosmith - 930/1000
Guitar Hero II - 910/1000
Guitar Hero III - 435/1000
Guitar Hero Hits - 450/1000
Guitar Hero Metallica - 875/1000
Guitar Hero World Tour - 850/1000
Guitar Hero 5 - 950/1000
Gun - 730/1000
Halo 3 - 815/1750
Hexic HD - 40/200
HSM3 Senior Year Dance - 350/1000
Import Tuner Challenge - 30/1000
Infernal - 800/1000
Kameo - 600/1000
Lego Rock Band - 960/1000
Lego Star Wars II - 350/1000
Looney Toons: AA - 820/1000
LOTR BFME II - 555/705
Luxor 2 - 92/200
Madden 07 - 645/1000
Madden 08 - 805/1000
Marble Blast Ultra - 165/250
Marvel Ultimate Alliance - 80/1250
Meet The Robinsons - 400/1000
Metro 2033 - 930/1000
Mirror's Edge - 730/1250
Monkey Island - 180/200
Monopoly - 600/1000
Moto GP 06 - 20/1000
NBA 2K7 - 955/1000
NBA Ballers: Chosen One - 900/1000
NBA Live 08 - 800/1000
NFS Carbon - 85/1000
NFS ProStreet - 20/1000
NHL 2K8 - 370/1000
NHL 08 - 300/1000
Nintey Nine Nights - 400/1000
Oblivon - 100/1250
Outpost Kaloxi X - 175/200
Over G Fighters - 50/1000
Overlord - 880/1250
PDC World Champ Darts - 650/1000
PES 2008 - 280/1000
Perfect Dark Zero - 390/1000
PGR 3 - 650/1000
PGR 4 - 1010/1250
Phantasy Star Universe - 1000/1250
Prey - 935/1000
Prince of Persia - 170/1250
Prizefighter - 140/1000
Quake 4 - 100/1000
Rainbow 6 Vegas - 215/1000
Rayman Raving Rabbids - 600/1000
Ridge Racer 6 - 70/1000
Robotron: 2084 - 50/200
Rock Band - 475/1000
Rock Band 2 - 650/1000
Rock Band AC/DC - 225/250
Rock Band Beatles - 615/1000
Rock Band Song Pack 2 - 200/250
Rock Revolution - 930/1000
Rumble Roses Double X - 30/1000
Saints Row - 50/1000
Samurai Warriors 2 XL - 150/1000
Scene It? LCA - 915/1000
Schizoid - 160/200
Sega Superstars Tennis - 940/1000
Sega Rally - 730/1000
Shadowrun - 250/1000
Shrek The Third - 640/1000
Small Arms - 175/235
Sonic The Hedgehog - 25/200
Soul Calibur IV - 700/1000
South Park - 160/200
Spiderwick Chronicles - 750/1000
Splinter Cell Conviction - 250/1000
Splinter Cell Double Agent - 50/1000
Splosion Man - 50/200
Spyglass Board Games - 105/200
Stuntman: Ignition - 555/1000
Superman Returns - 680/1000
Superstars V8 Racing - 960/1000
Table Tennis - 340/1000
Tetris Evolution - 180/1000
Texas Hold Em - 155/200
Tiger Woods 06 - 50/960
Tiger Woods 07 - 85/1000
The Force Unleashed - 700/1345
The Golden Compass - 660/1000
The Outfit - 420/1000
The Simpsons Game - 20/1000
Thrillville - 925/1000
Top Spin 3 - 50/1000
Totemball - 10/200
Transformers: The Game - 90/1000
Trivial Pursuit - 710/1000
Turning Point - 895/1000
Two Worlds - 60/1000
TNA Impact! - 365/1000
UEFA Champions League 2006/2007 - 390/1000
UEFA Euro 2008 - 895/1000
Vampire Rain - 650/1000
Viva Pinata - 140/1000
Wik: Fable of Souls - 120/200
Worms - 185/200
Worms 2: Armageddon - 110/200

And there we have it. According to Microsoft Word there's 162 games in that list there, that's a hell of a lot! You may have noticed plenty of games in there with low score, games you may not have even heard of (such as Rumble Roses and Over G Fighters). I pre-ordered my Xbox 360 but got it a couple of months later, this has meant that I've seen the Xbox 360 evolve throughout the years like others haven't. Originally once a game had been put on your card there was no going back. Didn't matter if you had 0G on it, you couldn't remove it. For this reason I had nothing to lose once I started playing a game and I remember putting a bit of time and effort in to getting my one and only achievement in Bejeweled 2 (which I now regret).

The point I'm trying to get at is that in the past I didn't give a damn about my completion percentage. It was only a year and a bit ago when I decided I wanted to change this as the arrival of TrueAchievements has inspired me and many others to up our percentage. I've gone from 50% to 68% in over a year which I am quite impressed with. I've got a way to go until 75% but if I could just remove these games from my profile.....

Bejeweled 2 - 10/2000
Boom Boom Rocket - 85/200
Bomberman Live - 10/200
Burnout Paradise - 5/1250
Chromehounds - 20/1000
Dark Sector - 30/1000
Dead Rising - 40/1000
Def Jam Icon - 30/1000
Duke Nukem 3D - 10/200
Gears of War - 60/1250
Gears of War 2 - 65/1750
Geometry Wars Evolved - 20/200
Hexic HD - 40/200
Import Tuner Challenge - 30/1000
Luxor 2 - 92/200
Moto GP 06 - 20/1000
NFS Carbon - 85/1000
NFS ProStreet - 20/1000
Over G Fighters - 50/1000
Ridge Racer 6 - 70/1000
Robotron: 2084 - 50/200
Rumble Roses Double X - 30/1000
Saints Row - 50/1000
Sonic The Hedgehog - 25/200
Splosion Man - 50/200
Tiger Woods 06 - 50/960
Tiger Woods 07 - 85/1000
The Simpsons Game - 20/1000
Top Spin 3 - 50/1000
Totemball - 10/200
Transformers: The Game - 90/1000
Two Worlds - 60/1000

That's a list of the games on my profile which have less than hundred gamerscore on them. Take out the arcades if you want and you've got 21 retail games each with 1000+ gamerscore on them. If it was possible for me to remove them from my card and plunk them on to someone else's who has a nice percentage (such as jackanape) if they would go below me and I would rise above them. I can't be bothered to work out the maths but I'm sure we'd see a dramatic change.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Poor Cars Franchise

What has happened to the one children franchise on the Xbox 360 that I always defended if it came under scrutiny? It was the Cars franchise. I got 900 on the original (back then I didn't care for completion and couldn't be bothered with finding the post cards) and I had the 1000 on Mater National (the 2nd in the franchise) but I had not played the third game. Race-O-Rama came out towards the end of last year but I ordered it for £10 a week a go as I fancied another easy 900 gamerscore from a game I hoped would be enjoyable, I was wrong.

Race-O-Rama is unfortunately broken and the worst in the series. First off the controls are the same from the previous instalments with A being accelerate and RT being your turbo. The control setup for the controls is fine, how they have been executed is not. How could a formula that worked fine in the previous two games be taken and ruined for Race-O-Rama? Steering has become more dodgey in your standard races (when you're the red car Lightning McQueen) but what on earth were the developers thinking when they programmed the mini cars and monster truck races. It's insane to think that I am playing a children's game on the easiest difficulty and was finding it hard to get just a bronze medal in some of these races, meaning I would do up to 10 retries which was very frustrating. What happens is your vehicle will just spin out with no good reason for doing so. At first when this started happening I thought it was my controller being weird, it didn't make sense to me that I could just be steering round a corner and then bam, a 360 donut occurs and I've lost all speed and probably been knocked over by my opponents.

I've since completed this game and thought I want to share my experiences with you as well as doing a bit of reseach of my own. Wikipedia is always my friend just like it's proven this morning when I went on it to see who Developed the 3 Cars games on the 360. Now a studio called Rainbow Studios has its name in the Developer(s) section on both the original and Mater National however it is missing in Race-O-Rama. I am lead to believe that a company called Tantalus Interactive were the ones to develop Race-O-Rama, a company that previously did Mater National on the DS and GBA. It's a shame they ruined the controls so badly on the game otherwise it still would have been an all right game to play for gamerscore. Still, stay away from this if your prone to throwing controllers out of anger, I've read a few people admit to do so from playing this game just by reading the posts in X360A's forum for the game.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Gadget Show Live

Firstly I should make one thing clear to readers, this is going to be a long post that will probably take you 5 minutes to read and much longer for me to type up. After thinking about how I should write this post I came to the conclusion that I want to make it as detailed and descriptive as possible. This is mainly for personal reasons, I like to think I have a good memory but I'm sure I will forget things unless I document it now.

I do advise you to skip parts of the story if they bore you, I completely can understand why however it will be worth hearing me rant about the gadgets that I got to see and test out. :)

Thursday 8th April 2010 - The Gadget Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham

The Journey There

Months ago my college arranged a trip for classes to go to the Gadget Show Live. I had seen the Gadget Show on channel 5 before and was aware of who the presenters were and what they got up to with gadgets. With this in mind I saw the opportunity for me to go to my first e3 type event which I had been dying to do for years. I paid the £30 for my ticket straight up, no questions asked I wanted to go.

The morning came and I woke up at 5:45 in order to get ready in time to arrive at Bedford for 8AM. I planned on getting the 6:28 bus but as it happened there isn't one scheduled for that time therefore I got the 6:58 instead (they come every half an hour) and was able to get to Bedford quickly thanks to minor traffic and met my two friends in McDonald's for some breakfast before our long journey to Birmingham. Upon arriving at the college we spoke to a few of the teachers and met one of their son's (she's so proud of him, it's funny) before departing on a 20+ seat orange minibus type vehicle which I wish I have a photo of as it looked hilarious.

Considering I only had 5 hours sleep the night before I was quite proud of myself for being able to stay awake on the 1 and a half hour journey to Birmingham, usually when I get up early for college I nap on the 45 minutes journey to Bedford. Today was different though as I was excited. I enjoyed speaking to my teacher (Karen) son (Bradley) as well as waving at all the men (and a couple of woman!) who were driving trucks in this early hour of the morning. We even got one guy to toot his horn for us, we were stoked on that.


We got off in the car parking area which still happened to be half a mile or so away from where we needed to be. Thankfully the NEC has shuttle buses running constantly so we hopped on one (free of charge) and got to the entrance in just a few minutes. After splitting up with the group Karen's son wanted to come with us as we were the closest people he knew, therefore the four of us entered and made our way through what reminds me of a terminal before arriving at the entrance.

First Impressions

It was roughly 10:15AM when we first got in which left us with 45 minutes to explore before the Live show took place in the theatre. The place was so big we just didn't know where to go first. If my memory serves me right the first place we went to was to check out some of the 3D TV's on display near the entrance. 3D TV's were a big thing at the event but it was only at this "stall" (I say stall but it's not, just the easiest way to describe it) that I really checked out what 3D was like. After a couple of minutes of watching others I was able to pick up the 360 Pad, put on some glasses and play Avatar in 3D. I've seen the film in 3D and that was great, playing the game in 3D is also great. Everytime I jumped in water it would splash up at my face, the recoiling bullets from my shotgun also did the same. I really did enjoy my few minutes on this (as well as actually playing the game) but I left wondering if 3D TV's are superior to high definition. I conclude that neither is superior to the other as they both are great in what they do, they're just different and both deserve a place in your household (if money permits). Sky 3D was being shown to the left of me which I took a few glances at whilst playing Avatar but didn't really see much as the angle I was sitting wasn't too great. There was a mini cinema near by which was showing off some kiddy pirate film in 3D which looked cool but nothing new that I hadn't seen before (although it would have been if I hadn't seen Avatar months ago).

Next we found a small gaming section where Band Hero, Tony Hawk Ride and Super Mario Brothers were being played. Me and two of my friends were able to get ourselves a grasp on the peripherals for Band Hero as I immediately changed the difficulty setting to Expert in an attempt to pump up the crowd (haha). I wasn't too keen on the guitar (it's the latest in the franchise I believe) as the strum bar was pretty stiff like the Rock Band guitar (which I dislike). This meant I was making mistakes and not keeping up a x4 combo like I really should have been. Unfortunately I forgot to try out the slide bar which is a shame but I'm sure it's nothing special. After my friend Conor was done on drums I nagged him to get off as I had not tried out the Guitar Hero drums peripheral yet and was excited to try it out. We played Dirty Little Secret by All American Rejects (my friend Olly's favourite band who he's seen numerous times and even been in pubs to have a drink with the lead singer Tyson!) and I was quite proud with how I did on Hard difficulty on the drums. It was a bit weird at first getting used to hitting the top cymbals but towards the end of the song I was rocking a x4 combo pretty consistently.

My memory is hazy as to what we did next but I'm sure we just walked around with excited grins on our face like little school children being given sweets. We ended up finding where some cars were and I just had to get my photo taken in this Volkswagen that we stumbled across. I don't know much about my cars but I know when I see a sexy one that I'd love to own. There wasn't too many gadgets on it so I'm not quite sure why it was there but a car nearby could be transformed in to a mini living room and kitchen. The front seats could swivel around and the back seats be pushed back in to the boot so that a family could all sit around and talk to each other. With a microwave and cooker on the side there were no limits to what a family could do in this car. I did however think having what appeared to me as a shower head in the boot at the back was one step too far..... We didn't take a photo of this car, I wish my friend did :(

Time was ticking at this point so we knew we needed to start heading in the direction of the theatre and try not to get distracted. This was hard to do when we came across one of those people that perform by staying still and not speaking at all. We were able to make this guy move and played around with him for a minute as he begged for money to be placed in to his hat, it was rather amusing. We didn't really see much else afterwards except from my friend getting sidetracked by one stall which had real drum kit and guitars set up for anyone to go on and play when they feel like. Another attraction next to this was a big silver camper van type thing which had a recording studio inside for recording songs. A TV on the outside was on a continuous loop showing a band actually recording a song in there before. Finally there were real DJ decks set up to allow anyone to go and do a mix (or whatever it is you do). Prior to DJ Hero's release I'd have had little to no idea as to what to do however I now understand how it works. I don't think the general public do though as numerous people would ruin what was already being played and then go off on to something else, leaving the guy in charge having to re-do a good beat every time. We finally got to the theatre and queue jumped really badly in order to get in. I feel bad but it's a dog eat dog world so I led the way whilst my friends followed.

Live Performance

Upon sitting down inside the 4000 seated theatre my attention was quickly diverted towards the dolphin type things floating above us in the crowd. I naturally at first presumed they were attached by a wire from above but after a few minutes I realised why people were getting so impressed, it's because there was no wire. I still find it hard to fathom how these "creatures" were able to stay up in the air defying the laws of gravity. We were told later on that there were propellers on each wing to keep it up in the air but still, I'd have thought the weight would outweigh the up-force. Check out the picture below to see what they looked like. It's unbelievable to think they could be controlled via a remote controller too.

The show began with the best robot I have ever seen walk on to the stage and welcome us to the show. He made numerous appearances throughout the show (coming in to the audience by walking down the aisles once, spraying water at people which was funny) and continued to amaze me at how life like it was. There was no AI there (everything he said was pre-recorded and he didn't seem to be able to react to any human activity) but the precision of his movement has left me in awe. I'm not sure if this robot was being controlled via a remote but I am going to have to assume he was as he did at times get just inches away from some of the audience and was able to look at them face to face.

I was personally slightly let down by the performance but that is because I was believing it to be something that it isn't supposed to be. I was hoping to see breathtaking new technology being shown (nothing new being revealed but the appearance of Project Natal would have been AMAZING) but instead it was a very cliché performance from the Gadget Show presenters. There were numerous competitions going on throughout the hour (which did begin to frustrate me) and instead of being shown cool tech I was presented with staged entertainment where the outcome would have surely been pre-determined prior to show time. The first game we got to do was to play an app for Apple products but with a little twist. The way to get your teams motorbike to go faster and therefore jump a further distance was to shout as loud as you can and then raise your arms in to the air to make the bike jump. Now the presenters assured us the technology had been created to make this possible however I do have to doubt it. Sure I can believe that microphones may be able to detect a larger sound from one team over another but how could a camcorder recognise 2000 hands going up in to the air? There were 3 attempts for each team and it was only on each teams last attempt that the motorbike effectively jumped. I can't believe for one minute that 2000 people all changed the way they moved their arms up in the air on the last attempt in order to make the motorbike jump properly. I do think that it was a scam and really it was somebody playing the game behind the scenes (especially at it was a clichéd climax type ending to the game).

Other games were played throughout the show such as participants having to fold away a tent the fastest whilst being put off by the presenters. Another one was guests getting their heart beats monitored to see how they went up when put in to a simulation of a roller coaster (which was a fail as both the guys heart beat decreased instead of increased!). I have to admit I found these boring to watch and instead was more amused by watching races that went on between the presenters. Suzi and Jason strapped in to jetpacks as they launched in to the air over the crowd's heads and then turned around to get back to the stage as quickly as possible. Again this was staged as a wire was used to support them (so there wasn't really any jetpack being used :() and Jason's just so happened to break and go all smokey half way through which was predictable from the description on how he made it (coca cola with a mint put inside). The last race of the show was when three of them got on to different type of transport vehicles and had a race to see who could go down all the aisles first. I did enjoy seeing Jason on a skateboard type advice but yet again I got frustrated at the outcome of the standings (Jason was by far the quickest yet didn't win as he waited for Ortis to return to the stage first). Finally it's worth mentioning that a team of performers with a ridiculous name (something with the word Fish in) did some juggling with electronic changing lights which although wasn't amazing it was good enough to entertain me for the few minutes.

3 Hours of Checking Out the "Stalls"

After the live performance was finished we had 3 hours until we had to meet up with the rest of the group and then go back to the college, then home. I thought that 3 hours would be no way near long enough to see everything there was to see here and I was right. However it did get very tiring walking around with a bag on my back the whole day so I eventually was happy to go after 3 hours.

First thing we planned on doing was going to check out the glasses that were like mini TV's, I think it's called virtual reality? We had seen the stall previously and had a rough idea of how to get back to there so after 5 to 10 minutes of traversing through slow moving traffic we finally got there. They had a few machines set up to show off the technology (I saw a 360, PS3 and Wii) so I went over to play on the Wii as it had the least amount of people wanting a go on it (plus I fancied playing Mario Kart). After a few minutes I got my turn and was very impressed. They were nothing special but they did just what they were supposed to do as I was able to play the game with no problem and enjoyed my time wearing them. I don't think these should replace our traditional televisions however I would definitely love to have a pair myself that could wireless connect to my Xbox 360. I can get back ache at times in my desk chair, how cool would it be for me to lie down in my nice comfy bed and play my Xbox. If this technology is already available to be bought for the Xbox 360 then please let me know, I don't think it is but there's a chance.

Now to be honest there wasn't much else there that was too amazing and that you need to hear about. I'm getting typed of typing so much so I do plan on getting the few thoughts I still have in my head typed up as quickly as possible and posting this up for you to read. One stall were letting customers try a new type of cigarettes that are electronic and claim to be 99% healthier than traditional ones. My friend had a toke and found them effective however I personally believe that it was a scam and will never get mainstream to the point where that everyone knows about it. Around the same time we found a replica of a vehicle which has (or is attempting to) break the fastest speed done on ground. I viewed a stand which had a list of statistics on it which claimed it could do 0 to 1000MPH in 42 seconds, very impressive.

There was a long section dedicated to the history of computer games which seemed to attract a lot of attention from all ages. I went over to the Playstation 1 and played a racing game as well as seeing an original Gameboy in working condition. There were much older consoles in working display too however because I am in a younger generation I wasn't aware of what they were and therefore didn't give any of them a try. It was cool to see kids playing Pac-Man like it was originally intended for. There was a small booth where you could put your head in view of the camera and it would detect your face and turn you in to a Transformer. This isn't new technology I believe but still it was amusing for a couple of minutes to see it in action. There was a stall set up for Papershow, a program designed to enable you to draw on a piece of paper and have it input on to a computer. Stuff like this I believe has been done before however Papershow was different. It's possible to change colour and make corrections to errors all done with incredible ease (as my friend Conor discovered by drawing a dog). I personally don't have a need to get my art in to digital form (I do art?) however if you do go over to to see a demonstration of how the product works, it's quite fascinating.

I have to mention the Game Zone, a section which was purely dedicated to letting you try out some of the hot games right now. EA seemed to be representing as they had Battlefield Bad Company 2 set up on dozens of computers letting anyone join in at any time. I believe there were even competitions going down, that could explain why I saw kids sat there continuously playing the game seriously. 2010 FIFA World Cup was on display however I didn't bother to go check it out. I'm not sure if the full game was being shown however I can imagine it was instead the demo which happened to come out the same day on the Live Marketplace. Ultimately I found this section pretty boring as it was full of games I had either played or seen before. It was no e3 that's for sure and I ended up spending more time shopping in the PC World and GAME stalls than I did gaming. Finally the Test Track section gave everyone a chance to try out different type of transport devices around a test track. The queue for this was gigantic though so I never got a go however to be honest it would have got boring for me after 30 seconds.

And that's about all I can be bothered to include for now. There was so much more there which I haven't even mentioned (let alone everything I missed myself) and I had a fantastic time there and would love to go back again. I do recommend everyone to go (even your wife and kids) as it's a difference experience and you'll be sure to have fun. It does get very tiring however the nice field outside did enable us to relax for 45 minutes or so in the sun as we recuperated. I hope you've enjoyed reading about my day at The Gadget Show, there's a few more pictures below of me and my friends experiencing the army stall and me outside in the sun. Goodbye for now.