Black Ops 2 with a predictable release date…

November

Is what the Spanish and Portuguese store FNAC recently put on their website. This comes as no surprise as it seems all the latest CoD games have been released in the month before Christmas. Why the month before Christmas? Have a guess… When do most people do their Christmas shopping?

As it stands, this hasn’t been confirmed by the developers and neither has the name ‘Black Ops 2’. This doesn’t mean that the name won’t stay the same. After all, Modern Warfare went with the simple 2 and 3 additions and didn’t really think of an imaginative title.

What we know so far is that Black Ops 2 is sure as hell in production. At what stage, nobody but the developers know. Amazon.fr (France) listed Black Ops 2 on their site, but it was quickly pulled down.

Activision have also purchased blackops2.com which doesn’t mean much, unless you want to think of them simply protecting the copyright to that particular URL. Activision must definitely have something on the cards. The first installment sold around 14 million copies so it’s not as if a sequel wouldn’t be as popular, if not more so.

Recently, the whole CoD franchise has been slated for being boring and that Activision are just selling the same old tripe every other year. In my opinion, changing a winning formula would be suicide. The Black Ops campaign had a very good story and, although the way it was played was quite generic, because of the story it worked. I thoroughly enjoyed shooting Castro in the head! I found trekking through the Vietnamese jungle and sneaking up on unsuspecting Viet Cong (or whoever they were) to be more than thrilling. If you didn’t enjoy the Black Ops campaign, you probably won’t enjoy any war based campaign, ever. Nope. Never ever. Seriously.

Attack the VC! via HardToast

The multiplayer to Black Ops is still something I play to this day. I’ve only had my Xbox since June 2011 but even before then, I was playing it on the PS3. I must have worked up quite a lengthy play time on that game which may only be matched by Fallout 3 (another game which I have an unhealthy passion for). The map packs became a little dull, but I warmed to them. Hazard, at first, was a map I only felt hate and loathing for. Now, I can snipe a sucker from a distance, in a snap and still manage to do better than the damn campers. The only thing the map packs should have done was have 4 multiplayer maps and 2 zombies maps.

I love zombies mode on Black Ops. It’s one of my favourite past times. The maps, towards the end, became unplayable for me. The lengthy challenges to unlock achievements were boring. I attempted the Shangri-La challenge a countless number of times and it frustrated me to the point where I haven’t played it since the week it was released. The same can be said for Moon, which has an even longer player challenge. Not to mention, the map is very big and takes a long time to build up points and perks. My favourite Zombie maps are Ascension, Der Riese and Kino. I did enjoy Call of the Dead but George and his incessant whining got to be a real pain the rear.

FU George... FU via GameFront

So, hopefully, you’ve picked up a bit of info you didn’t have before and that would make me super happy! If not, screw you.

Kthnxbai!

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Mass Effect 3 Lands Soon!

Yup, that’s right!

Mass Effect 3 will be released very soon; 9th of March (UK) to be precise! And what better way to celebrate the games launch with a launch party that has taken the matter a little too literally.

I say literally because Mass Effect 3 is the first game EVER to be launched into space! Well, I say space and it’s really the type of space you can get to with a weather balloon. But! It’s still a first for the gaming industry and it’s a pretty innovative way to grab the attention of gaming fans who may not be a part of the fully pumped ME fans.

Let's hope this one doesn't crash and burn... Via Geekosystem

Here is the schedule for the landing of the copies:

  • San Francisco, CA – 7am-10am – February 23rd
  • Las Vegas, NV – 7am-10am – February 24th
  • New York, NY – 7am-10am – February 25th
  • London – Time TBD – February 27th
  • Paris – Time TBD – February 28th
  • Berlin – Time TBD – February 29th

It’s hard to say whether the copies will actually land where BioWare say they will but at least each copy has a GPS tracker attached to it so it can be found. As you can also see, at least one will have touched down by now in San Francisco and that means the lucky finder will have it over a week before the official release dates.

This really is an imaginative way of building publicity for an already established franchise. In a way, it’s almost as if BioWare want there to be mass riots at the land zones because there are only 6 available in 6 different locations. If anyone out there is like me, (which I’m sure they are) they will be a sucker for a limited edition or collectors edition and will be chomping at the bit to get to the land site.

This really is a bold move for a software developer to make and who knows, maybe we’ll see a one off, special edition of GTA V placed on the moon, just to see if any geeks can get into space from their garden sheds or garages. This kind of move is one that we will probably see more of. Games placed in special locations for people to find. I would definitely go on a treasure hunt for a copy of Risen 2: Dark Water’s, even if it meant getting out the dinghy and sailing to the middle of the North Sea!

I can only hope that developers decide to make these sort of stunts a regular occurrence and maybe it will attract new audiences to the wonderful world of gaming? After all, I need more people to beat the crap out of on Call of Duty: Black Ops!

And if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the official trailer for Mass Effect 3 via BioWareMassEffect on YouTube:

Kthnxbai!

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Oh, Microsoft! What are you doing to us?

I don’t know where

the rumour has come from that the next Xbox will not allow pre-owned games to played on it, but it has surfaced and caused quite a stir with the public.

Microsoft’s next console to be released into the gaming world is believed not to allow users to play games which have been previously played by another Xbox Live user. This would mean that every game would require some sort of code (similar to EA’s online pass) which activates the game and makes it playable. We must remember that this is very similar to PC gaming and that with a serial code, you get one use and that’s it. Obviously, not all PC games have this one-time use restriction on the code but I feel that won’t be the case if Microsoft do go down this alley.

This is a pretty cool concept for the 720 via XboxFreedom

So, you buy your game, you activate the code, get home and realise that the game is the biggest pile of garbage you have ever played *cough* MW:3 *cough*. You take it back to the store where you bought it and what do they do with it? Surely they would have to issue another code with it, if they wanted to sell it on, or it would have to be destroyed. Very wasteful.

This also means that chumps like you and me, who don’t want to buy a game at release and pay anywhere between £40 – £50 will either have to wait a few months for it to drop in price (in the case of any Call of Duty game, it will take a year, trust me!). Even places like CEX sell games with an online pass for £35 and that’s still a pre-owned price for a game which is relatively new (FIFA12).

This also means that a lot of people will NOT be able to rent games from places like Blockbuster and LoveFilm. Some people rely on these services to be sure they like a game before they buy it and with the introduction of activation codes, again, it means a new code is issued after every rental or the game rental industry loses a major player. Personally, I think if Microsoft/Game developers are trying to wipe out the use of pre-owned games on their console then they won’t supply extra codes under any circumstance.

The above is obviously against the idea of having activation codes with every game. Just like a lot of other people, I don’t want to pay the price of a brand new game. As much as I love peeling off that damn Microsoft sticker from the side of the case, I simply can’t afford the new price of a game. Definitely not right now, anyway. Microsoft seem to forget that when they released the first Xbox 360, consumers could upgrade it with different parts and features, i.e. a bigger HDD, a HD DVD player, wireless network adapter, etc. This was a big step in gaming and allowed different styles of players with different budgets to have a console without having to pay top price. They have showed that they don’t really want to go down that route anymore with the latest Slim consoles but that doesn’t mean the games have to follow in the same direction.

Some pretty cool customisation via IT Lounge

On the other side of the fence, there is the game developers who, aren’t exactly the Richie Rich of the gaming world but they’re no Worzel Gummidge, either. The used game market is a big business which they are jealous of. This is because they don’t see a single penny when a pre-owned game is sold. You can understand the frustration of these poor folks but that doesn’t mean to say they should be taking it out on consumers! I think a deal should be struck up between the developers and companies like CEX and Gamestation which says that if a pre-owned game is sold, X amount goes back to the company who made it. Just a suggestion!

"I made MW:3 and all I got was this lousy hair" via The Guardian

To summarise, there isn’t much going for the Xbox 720 (or whatever it’s called). Apart from better graphics, there doesn’t seem to be much else pushing me to buy it. What additions can they really make which are affordable and practical? By practical I mean the whole, needing an empty aircraft hanger to play on the Kinect when it was first released…  If this whole ‘no pre-owned games’ malarkey is more than a rumour, I think Microsoft will lose more than just money; They’ll lose trust.

 

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Mobile Payments.. Not today!

It has been revealed that

Forrester (an independent technology market research company) have conducted interviews with 10 of the countries (UK) biggest senior executives. This research, which has been commissioned by PayPal, has discovered that in around 4 years, NFC technology will be fully integrated into the way we buy things from almost anywhere. It is predicted that 2016 will be the year in which we can pay for items, big or small, with our mobile phones.

Now, for me, NFC technology is great but I wouldn’t want to use it to pay for my food shopping, media purchases and whatever else is decided it can be used for. I don’t think using a mobile phone to pay for things is secure and practical. Here’s why:

I’m never without my wallet. My wallet has my cards in which I use to pay for things, most of the time. The cards are secured with chip and pin and, as far as I’m aware, not many places use signatures anymore. Sometimes I forget to pick up my phone when I’m leaving the house and, if it’s frustrating for me now, it will be even more frustrating for those who decide to leave their wallet at home assuming that they have their phone on them somewhere.

I’m not a fan of having card details stored on mobile phones. Some phones have little programs where you store personal information such as: card details, passwords etc. I think it was called a Wallet or something. It’s all encrypted which is grand in a world where people don’t know how to hack into things and break complex encryption keys. There will always be a way round this sort of security and, in the wrong hands, you could find yourself with a credit card bill for a week on a luxury yacht. This is not what I want. No matter how secure the mobile phone companies say it is, it’s never going to be unbreakable.

I’ll be sticking with good old cash and card payments. At least I know that if somebody picks my pocket, they’re getting some petty cash and cards which they can’t use. If they lift my phone, they’re getting an expensive device with the capability to buy anything. Screw that.

Kthnxbai!

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Far Cry 3 Release Date!

Far Cry 3

has been given the official release date of September 7th for the UK and September 4th for the US.

Your character, Jason Brody, is the unfortunate soul who ends up stranded on a tropical island. This all sounds wonderful, in a perfect world, but in the world of Far Cry this means only 1 thing! A vast amount of baddies for you to dispose in whichever way you desire.

Choose how you want the game to pan out and, as long as you find your girlfriend you’ve been separated from, who cares how many chumps you have to blow up on the way?

Check out the official trailer from Ubisoft via Youtube below…

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Wii U buy it?

I’ve had my ear to the ground

and according to a few sources, there seems to be a lot speculation surrounding the release of the Wii U. Considering the third party support for the Wii U and the fact that Nintendo themselves have said that it can be released this year, means that Nintendo can do what not many have been able to do before. They will be able to release a console which has a lot of top quality software to match those games which are currently available for the other Next Gen consoles.

A dream set up! By dalvenjah via Flickr.

If Nintendo are smart (which, after the release of the 3DS, they don’t seem to be all there at the moment) they will have some top titles ready for release at the same time as the console itself. If you’re too look at Nintendo’s top selling games, you’d see that Mario definitely has to make an appearance at the launch. As would Zelda, Mario Kart and even some sort of Wii Sports equivalent in the box would make the Wii U more appealing. Now, releasing all these titles at once may seem like a bit of a desperate move on Nintendo’s part BUT what we have to remember is that this console will be competing with the Xbox and Kinect which has been astoundingly popular (which I didn’t think would happen) and also the PS3 and PS Move.  I’ve owned a lot of Nintendo consoles and one of my favourite consoles was the Gamecube. It wasn’t overly popular because of the PS2 but it still had a great selection of games. Metroid Prime, in my opinion, was one of the best games of 2003 and to see another installment for the Wii U would be a great addition to an arsenal of characters which have stood the test of time. I think Nintendo would really be throwing the cat among the pigeons by releasing titles with strong a pedigree and proven track record of success.

Simpler times... By Dezibel via Flickr

Last year, at E3, Ubisoft announced that they would be supporting the Wii U and also showed a sneak peak of a Ghost Recon game which is set for a release of May 25th. Looking at the Xbox version, we see that it is compatible with Kinect. So! If we make a few assumptions, we could be lead to believe that Ghost Recon will be appearing on the Wii U. This wouldn’t be a bad thing as it’s very different to what Nintendo have offered in the past.

Similarly to Ubisoft, Capcom have strong links with Nintendo. This could mean that we might see Resident Evil 6 on the Wii U. Judging by the release date of RE6, this particular title falls nicely before the Christmas shopping begins and, I imagine that’s when the Wii U will be stacked on the shelves, primed for the hoards of parents looking to find their kids the latest and greatest kit for Christmas.

It’s all speculation right now, as to whether these games will be released on the Wii U but I think this year is Nintendo’s time to get itself back out there. There won’t be a new Xbox this year and there won’t be a new PlayStation so who do the public have to turn in their time of new and exciting gaming equipment? Nintendo can be the hero of the year, swooping in, stealing the spotlight and grabbing a pretty big share of the market. As the Kinect is already popular and without a complete hardware reboot, there’s nowhere Microsoft can go with it. Nintendo can put their years of experience into making this a release to remember.

Wii believe in U!

Kthnxbai!

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So this is WordPress…

Hi!

I’ve never had a good blog before, so here’s hoping this one is a little bit better than my last…

The reason I’ve created this blog are as follows:

  • I have a bit of spare time and I think that it’s good to fill that with something such as this.
  • There’s a lot of things in the world I see and I want to share.
  • It’s nice to feel like I’m talking to someone, even though there could be nobody reading this.
  • My girlfriend told me to.

Considering this is the first post, I should probably mention what this blog will be about. Basically, I want to share my views and opinions on the latest gaming news (well, the more important stuff, anyway). This will include anything from Xbox 360 games to 3DS games. As much as I would love to talk about the latest version of Angry Birds (*cough* honest..) I will steer clear of mobile phone games and try to stick to console/handheld. If something amazingly interesting appears in the world of mobile phone gaming, I’ll try to cover it but I can’t guarantee it.

Right!

Let me clear a few things up…

I’m an Xbox 360 player as of June 2011. I originally owned a PS3 and a Wii but, alas, I felt it was time for a change. This doesn’t mean I’m going to be posting only about the Microsoft side of gaming. I’ll cover all of it and as best I can.

I won’t be reviewing games because, frankly, I’m a poor ass student who doesn’t have the money to be buying the latest games all the time. As much as I would love to, I’ve got no chance of being able to keep up with that malarkey. However, at this moment in time, I’m around 2 months from completing my degree *victory dance* and I do have a job lined up so maybe, just maybe, I’ll treat you all to a review, each month, of whatever I buy (which will obviously be, in my opinion, the best release of that particular month).

will probably post some random things that are completely unrelated to gaming. I find a lot of things whilst using Stumble! and I’d like to share them. This could be film, technology or even general news which intrigues me so much I just have to write about it.

Please remember! This is my first real attempt at a blog so things may be a little disjointed at first and I might not always say a lot. This shall be fixed with time, so bear with me!

And one more thing…

Please feel free to message me with any suggestions, topics you’d to discuss, things you’d like to see more of, etc. I’m a pretty laid back person so any sort of constructive criticism will be taken on board.

Kthxbai!

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