Random scribblings by a prick. Enjoy.

Archive for December 2007

How many of you UK folk actually care about Manhunt 2 possibly getting a release?

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Having enjoyed to a moderate extent Rockstar’s original Daily Mail baiting stealth game, I am a tad curious about the current lack of fervor surrounding the possible release of Manhunt 2 after RockStar Games successfully appealed against the most recent refusal by the BBFC, to classify the game for release.

When the original Manhunt was released, many gamers (including myself) believed it to be a succinct marriage of controversial subject matter with traditional gameplay (a Rockstar hallmark it has to be said). When the credits rolled up, I had enjoyed my time with the game but was not blown away by it, the ludicrous level of violence being little more than a novelty. Still, the snuff video premise of the game, combined with the gory execution style kills earned it not only a ticking off and subsequent vilification of the games industry by self-righteous liberals in the broadsheets, but also short term sales bans from specialist retailers such as GAME.

This kind of negativity is not a foreign concept to gamers who enjoy games with a mature context and that case certainly will not change in the foreseeable future. Indeed RockStar, though outwardly grumbling at having their game being pulled off the shelves and slurred by the averagely idiotic broadsheet press, must have been delighted at all the free press that their new game was receiving. By publicly making something so taboo, it just fans the fire of human curiosity as more, and more people wanted to buy the game and see what is was all about – again violence being the primary hook for said curiosity.

All that aside, and nearly three years on, we have the sequel – Manhunt 2. U.S Reviews have been unimpressive so far, finding an uncomfortable middle ground between poor and mediocre. This is largely the same game that we have played previously it would seem as it appears to be nearly as violent (the 17+ version that was granted an American release being cut down in the gore stakes) and still contains the same stealth-kill gameplay that we have grown accompanied to, both prior to and since the original’s release.

So the question is, should any of us UK folk actually give a toss about this game? I couldn’t care less, regardless of which version we’re talking about (sorry, Wii motion control on this kind of game doesn’t do anything for me, but your mileage on that may vary) the game is still no better than it’s predecessor in gameplay terms but whereas the last game was techically unimpressive, the whole snuff-video idea was a novel hook at the time.


Written by bitsnark

December 23, 2007 at 9:57 pm

Always bet on Duke?

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Duke Nukem Forever, a title infamous due to it’s seemingly indefinite stint in development hell, has now finally got itself a teaser trailer.

Yep, you read that right.

It’s been over six years since Duke Nukem Forever has had any video footage shown in any form. The oft-delayed and maligned title has gone through many different engine and conceptual changes since it’s announcement nearly ten years ago.

The question is, with a possibly likely 2008 release looming, has this newest generation of gamers outgrown the Duke’s macho repitoire of insults, silly weaponary, sillier enemies and gaming paraodies?

Well either way the trailer is here and looks… well see for yourself. I think it looks *okay*, but i’m not totally sold on the enemy designs (they look like the glossed plastic beasties from Doom 3 and Prey) and the engine itself doesn’t look terribly impressive either.

But make up your own minds people 🙂

Written by bitsnark

December 20, 2007 at 1:22 am

E3 back in LA!

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After a disappointingly flat and somewhat soulless E3 this year, most people (myself included) had kinda hoped that the bright chaps who organised it last time (the ESA) would come to their senses and restore E3 to the fanboy pant-wetting spectale that it was in years gone by.

Well for next years shindig, E3 finds itself back at home once more in the Los Angeles Convention Centre.

However, before people get their hopes too high up, the ESA has still said that the event will be a smaller spectacle than before and the focus will once again be smaller organised presentations, as opposed to the huge blowouts that we all knew and loved prior to 2007.

The bastards.

I want my booth babes. =o)

Written by bitsnark

December 18, 2007 at 10:47 pm

So about that new GTA IV trailer…

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Now that the trailer is up and the interweb has recovered from the bandwidth ass kicking it recieved, what do you all people actually think of it?

My two cents:

1) Slowdown. Yes, it’s pretty much gone. Sure, we’re essentially treated to specifc sections of the game and it wouldnt be realistic to assume that the spectre of frame rate issues is completely gone, but at *least* what was shown, was shown to run smoothly and that cant be anything but a good thing.

2) Hand-to-Hand Combat: Apparently, Rockstar have gone to great lengths to really flesh out the melee combat system in GTA IV. While the trailer doesn’t really illustrate how far they have gotten with this, what is shown is a definte sort of weight and impact behind the encounters. Again, due to the shortness of these scenes its difficult to discern much else, but at least what was shown was a start to hopefully what will be a remake of a clunky fighting system.

3) The small details. Just the small stuff like the facial expressions on the characters when talking, the spinning of the wheels on the motorcycles, the improved particle effects on the explosions – all of them just make the world seem a lot more solid and intricate this time round.

Seems like the delay until 2008 is going to be a good thing and certainly worth the wait if the improvements and changes continue apace.

What do you think?

Written by bitsnark

December 16, 2007 at 12:50 pm

GTA IV – A trailer… for some box art?

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While we wait until early 2008 for Rockstar’s latest entry in their Jack Thompson provoking series, we get a third trailer for the game due on December 6th called ‘Move up, ladies’.

Any more footage we get is a win at this point (purely just to see if they are sorting out the horrid framerate), however, the box art was recently announced and looks… just the same as every other box art for every other GTA game ever.

They also made a trailer to ‘show off’ the box art.

Pointless, or what?

Thanks for that.

Linkage below for those who fancy wasting a minute or two:

Written by bitsnark

December 5, 2007 at 7:31 am

Time to start the video game reviews…. Nice ‘n’ small like :)

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Review – Streets Of Rage 2 (XBLA)

When Sega announced their ‘Vintage’ range of games for XBLA, many Xbox Live players were counting down the days until the best of Sega’s 90’s side scrolling series would make its way to them, especially having already been available for download on Nintendo’s own service months previously. Yes, Streets Of Rage 2 is here and in that fine rose tinted tradition is everything you thought it was, without surprising you in anyway shape or form.

What we have here is a completely faithful Genesis/Megadrive port that replicates the Streets Of Rage 2 experience perfectly and as such, rekindles those fond memories of strolling along a street and nailing bad guys with different weapons and attacks. Just like you remember it, Streets Of Rage 2 is a whole dollop more fun when played with a friend in co-op and conversely, is also still just as pointless and bad in player versus player mode as it ever was.

Being a side scrolling fighting game, Streets Of Rage 2 was never going to win any awards for longevity, but the co-op mode, multiple characters that play differently and difficulty modes certainly stretch the experience out a tad, and 400MS points for what you get is a good deal.

Achievement wise, the game ranges from the banal (hit 10 guys with a pipe without dropping it) to the downright mind numbingly insane (get 800,000 points on the hardest difficulty starting with a single life), so don’t look for its uninspired achievements to have you coming back. Ultimately though, as with a great many retro releases, your mileage will vary depending on your love for the game as very little has been changed for this release.

The only updates that this title has received are the mandatory online modes, which are hideously laggy in versus mode (a blessing) and pretty stable in co-op, leaderboards and of course the ‘enhanced graphics’ that each Sega Vintage release provides, by enhanced read blurry.

So there you have it, fans of this old skool genre will find a good time here as the game is every bit exactly as it was. The usual XBLA features don’t really add much, and the achievements are pointless except to achievement farmers, but at 400MS points, you could do far worse and it is still a lot of fun.

Overall Score: 7.4

Written by bitsnark

December 4, 2007 at 10:30 pm

A change of heart….

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Hmmm, its been nearly eleven months and here I am, making a post just before I go to bed. The reason? Simple. I dont want this blog to die. In fact, I want it to thrive and flourish, as I will be shortly adding not just anime reviews but also video game reviews too.

Watch this space.

(No seriously, watch it)



Written by bitsnark

December 4, 2007 at 10:23 pm

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