Posts Tagged ‘360’

Move like Mike, or lose points

Monday, February 21st, 2011


The XBox 360′s Kinect is quite a neat add-on. For those unaware of what it is, essentially two cameras side-by-side capture your image, giving the machine a 3D image of your living room, you included. It can then figure out where you are, where your arms and legs are, and then begin to humiliate you.

It’s amazing for that reason. The Dance Central game made me look like an absolute lunatic with no dance skills – mostly because I don’t.

I had the opportunity to play Michael Jackson: The Experience on the Wii, and although it’s not Kinect, it still made me work up a sweat. And best of all, there was no camera filming my worst.

Then I found out it was coming to Xbox 360 in April.

The reason I enjoyed the Wii version was due to its lack of following the leg work, AKA the dancing part. And now I’ll have to learn the bottom-half of the Thriller dance!

Thinking about dance games, I think the next step is a microphone. I can imagine it now – A video game training young kids to be aspiring pop singers. The great part of it is, they can just make “murrmurrmurr” noises into the mike, instead of singing the lyrics. Just like in real life!

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Doogs’ games of 2010 to play for 2011

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

My thumbs haven’t quite healed properly still after having a massive gaming session with Dead Rising 2. Zombie-killing is always fun, but finishing up those games you just haven’t yet becomes a hassle when sequels appear.

And wouldn’t you know it, 2010 was the year of gaming sequels. I had to step up my nerd-self and complete every game I had that was maybe one or two hours away from completion. New Years resolution: ‘TV goes outside’.

That way I can get my vitamin D, and well as my dose of pixelated fun.

With that said, I will now list the five games that I believe made 2010 the best in a while.

Best Games of 2010 – Doogs’ Edition

Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2

If you never played the first, you don’t need to in order to enjoy the second. But if you were lucky enough to keep your save game…WOO! Right back in the action, with all the choices you made carrying through. Been mean to someone in the first? Yeah, like an elephant’s memory.

The space-age action RPG shooter starts off with a pretty amazing bang, and it’s fair to say that they did so in order to make newcomers appreciate the massive universe within Mass Effect.

Characters of old and new are as engaging and interesting as the first, and the gameplay was definitely fine-tuned.Big name actors were now on the bill to carry on the story, and players could even get smoochy and freaky with aliens. Not their biggest selling point from the first, considering the “outrageousness” it caused on the news. And they think that was bad…try watching some of the reality TV shows nowadays. Bleh.

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption

Fans of Grand Theft Auto got given a tasty alternative from city life by going back in time. An open world Western video game sounds crazy, and I’m sure was almost impossible to pitch.

But John Marston, a former pew-pew outlaw cowboy and also protagonist, manages to keep the good and bad sides of life in the West as lively and entertaining as ever.

Gunfights were a lot of fun to play, and one could only wish a Dirty Harry add-on could just put a pipe on those wanting to relive it (….what? It’s an awesome idea!).

And to be able to play this game multiplayer and have a posse of donkeys put sweet, sweet icing on this spaghetti cake. Mmm…spaghetti cake.

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain

I’m not lying when I say how amazed I was at this game. The designers of Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream, are known for their previous masterpiece of a storytelling game Fahrenheit (AKA Indigo Prophecy).

With the cinematic power behind the PS3, they delivered something that was pretty dang unique to gaming. Controls weren’t button-mashing, but controller-moving. Shaking, twisting, even doing nothing meant something.

The realism and grit of the story of a serial killer, as well as controlling the four main characters of the story, made Heavy Rain a big thumbs up from me. N

ever was I so glued to the screen, wanting to know what would happen next. The last time I had that reaction to game cinematics was during Metal Gear Solid 4, which felt like watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy twice.

Professor Layton and the Lost Future

Professor Layton and the Lost Future

The Nintendo DS isn’t a video gaming masterpiece of a machine. Innovative for sure in its infancy, it still hadn’t been given enough attention by developers (other than rushed movie titles). But the first Professor Layton game used this to its advantage, creating a puzzle game that was mind-testing, but not frustrating.

Puzzle-solving Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke are on an investigation which seems to have thrown them in the future, and as strange characters ask you a multitude of questions for stranger tasks like opening doors or not killing you, you get your first real glimpse inside Layton’s past. I loved the anime cinematics, and was sad to run out of puzzles in the end.

Bless you Professor…you made me feel smart once again. And, strangely, make me want to pick up banana peels.

Splinter Cell - Conviction

Splinter Cell – Conviction

This game wasn’t given as much hype as I thought. But given this series seems to have gone long enough, it had the shoulder-shrugging reaction I’ve had with say Lara Croft.

But Sam Fisher’s character has since become even more in-depth, and more aggressive than ever. For a light-treading, sneaking NSA agent, he’s gotten pretty ticked off. Who wouldn’t be after your daughter’s assassination?

Gameplay is really action-packed, and the whole ‘Mark and Execute’ option gives it that feeling that you are indeed an incredibly talented agent who can take down ‘issues’ in a matter of seconds.

Assassin’s Creed II almost took this spot, but then again, I haven’t finished that one either yet so I can’t give fair judgement. I couldn’t listen to half an album and announce it was the best CD ever made, could I? One hit wonders’d love that kind of assessment.

What games have I forgotten, or *shudder* need to finish before the newer one comes out? Oh, I have won Diablo II, so I’m safe for the third.

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Are you a Keytar Hero?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

The key to the musical 'devo'lution.

It can’t be THAT hard to learn an instrument, right?

Well it can be, if you don’t have the confidence to make an utter fool of yourself. But technically without the bravery of standing on stage, you’ll never get to live out your rock ‘n’ roll dream.

When the first Guitar Hero came out into the mainstream market, people of all ages rushed to buy the mini-guitar and game to rock out to a list of great pieces of music. It brought a lot of smiles to a lot of people.

Wannabe musicians of today afraid of going out in the real world to learn their instrument of choice were using video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band to teach important musical steps like rhythm, and the frustrations of hammering that last three frets to make that ‘solo’ sound really mad.

We’ve even had DJ Hero, incorporating the idea of mixing two tracks together to create a nice mash-up, which I’m sure got a lot of people rushing out to buy new decks and scratch the hell out of Rihanna.

While we do have Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock coming out soon, there’s also Rock Band 3. By now we’ve been swamped with plastic instruments in our living rooms for these games, but when playing the drums on ‘Expert’ difficulty meant you were essentially learning how to play drums, Rock Band 3 is introducing a mini-keyboard.

When a problem comes along, give it a head-butt.

The first prototype looks like a keytar, which can be strapped around your shoulder, or placed on your lap.

The first thing that popped into my mind was the potential of this being a great teaching tool for musicians out there wanting a gaming incentive added to music lessons.

The second thing that popped into my mind is the amount of real keytars that will be sold once it’s released.

Remember Devo? Whip It, with the red culinder hats, cracking whips, cowboys and safety reading glasses, was all about the keytar (although the woman in the blue dress and the bowl of cream never settled well).

How about Herbie Hancock? Rockit still gets me grinning with a cheesy smile.

Is it ready to come back though? Who knows, it could very well be getting piano players a chance to rock out to Bach again.

What do you think?

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