slycat: (Dizzy!)
No thanks to City Link, I finally got my copy of Guitar Hero 3 (360 edition) today rather than Friday as it should have been. As soon as I got home, I set it up and played for at least 2 hours before even thinking about food. Had a few games against [ profile] wolfpawz online which showed off the new game's ability to support multiplayer online, something which GH2 lacked. While on the whole it worked pretty seamlessly, I did have 2 lock ups of my console while playing online which was slightly worrying. Wolfpaw said he's happened to a few people he's played with so it's most likely a bug waiting to be patched. I had a few games with [ profile] krakendwaggin on the same console with him on the pad and had no issues however.

One other thing with GH3 compared with 2 is that 2 had lots of achievable achievements, however GH3 really makes you work for those gamerpoints. There's one achievement which requires you to play a song on expert perfectly but with the volume set to 0! I guess there were too many comments from people saying the achievements were too easy in GH2 and the developers thought they'd have a bit of fun. The game itself feels harder than GH2 even though I'm only playing on medium. One thing which is definitely better is the bundled guitar. Obviously, it's wireless but it's also quieter than the GH2 one. There's plenty songs to choose from both old and new. However, I've never heard of most of them as I'm not a rock fan but as I like rhythm games, it's all good and if it's a song I know then even better :).

Anyway, I'd certainly recommend this to anyone with the cash spare or friends/family who buy expensive presents. Found it to be great fun, even if it does make your hand ache after a while. Hopefully I'll get better with practise... I look forward to playing with others over XBL :)
slycat: (LocoRoco)
Although I'm technically not done with Space Giraffe (having only got halfway through the game), I've got the highest score out of my friends list which makes me less inclined to go back to it. I still play it but there's not so much drive there to go back other than the pretty visuals and to see how far I can take the score.

However, today came the release of Every Extend Extra Extreme (AKA E4), the sequel to Every Extend Extra (AKA E3) on the PSP. E3 promised so much, being from the people who made Lumines and based on Every Extend, a fun free game you can get on the PC, however despite being tarted up for a commercial release, it still ended up being a bit tedious rather than rewarding. Forcing you to start on the same level every time and spend lots of time to advance to see the new levels only to have to start over again next time round. Unltimately, I didn't find myself picking it up as much as I had expected to for an arcadey PSP game.

However, E4 is an entirely different game. The idea of using a bomb to exlode stuff flying about on the screen and get chain reactions is still there, but they have lived up to the extra "Extreme" name. It's much faster, the scoring is much more ludicrous and it gets more and more manic as you play. Whereas E3 would have you play "skins" in the style of Lumines where every level is a different song and you have to play progressively through the songs, E4 is just 1 song played until you run out of time out of a selection of 4 song. In addition to the normal mode, there's 3 other modes, one which lets you play you own songs from MP3, another is an arcade shooter and I've not even looked at the other mode yet. Needless to say there's lot to it, and a lot of high score tables to get on. I've finished the first level with an impressive 3,200,000,000,000ish score, but I'm sure someone in my friends list will be challenging that soon!
slycat: (Dizzy!)
As absurd as it may sound, towels really do fix (temporarily) red ring of death Xbox 360s. I don't really know what's going on inside the box and I'm sure it can't be good for it in the long run, but to stop an Xbox 360 from suffering from the 3 light red ring of death, you just need to remove all cables apart from power, remove the hard drive, wrap up in 3 towels or so, leave the Xbox on for around 25mins and then remove the towels. The 3 flashing lights will have changed to 2 which means the Xbox is overheating. Turn the Xbox off and leave to cool for 15 mins (this sounds like a recipe doesn't it?) before turning on again and enjoying Xbox 360 goodness for a couple of days before it breaks again.

I celebrated by downloading Jeff [ profile] stinkygoat Minter's new game Space Giraffe. After working out that the combos and multipliers you get from knocking lots of enemies off the grid at the same time is the best way to get a higher score, I've ended up getting a nice 8mil after playing through to level 11 which seems to be quite good in comparison to my friends list.

I will be sending the box back when I can anyway, but I'll most likely do that when I get the box I sent to myself from Pittsburgh with my fursuit feet and tail in it which finally seems to have made it's way to UPS' depot.
slycat: (Drawn by AceFox)
Arakin came to visit today with his copy of Guitar Hero 2 so I could have a go on it. We booted up the Xbox and Arakin started playing a song, but without warning it just froze. It looked like it was having trouble reading the disc or something. Ejected the disc, and it looked fine, reinserted it and the game was still frozen. Turned the box off and turned it back on again. Now the box wouldn't turn on, just got 3 of the 4 quadrants surrounding the power button flashing red. This is of course the much feared Red Ring of Death. Turning it off and on again didn't do much to fix the problem so ended up having to call Xbox support (the operator insisted I sounded like Hugh Grant for some reason) who will be sending some info on how to return the box to get it fixed. So, will be a good month without the ability to play Xbox. I guess I'll have to find something else to do to entertain myself in my leisure time now.
slycat: (Dizzy!)
I just thought I'd make a post about the Xbox 360's Live Arcade's latest offering. Other than DDR and now Guitar Hero 2, the 360 has sorely been lacking in rhythm games, and the ever impressive XBLA has now given us Boom Boom Rocket. It's effectively a very simple "push the button at the right time" style of rhythm game with only 4 possibilities (typically up, down, left and right as per DDR) and is played on a regular gamepad rather than a proprietary peripheral. It is however made by the guys behind Geometry Wars and so is oozing with polish.

The theme of the game is to blow up fireworks in time with the music, which is a great take on the genre while the music itself is jazzed up versions of classic music which is typically heard at real firework presentations. It all binds together rather satisfyingly, combining with the Live features such as world and friend leaderboards, giving you something to accomplish. I've only played a few of the songs so far, ensuring I get better scores than the others on my friends lists so far along the way. There's much of the game I've yet to even touch on so I look forward to having another go tomorrow when I don't need to be going to bed.

I'd certainly recommend this to any DDR/Bemani fans who have a 360, and if you have a 360 and this isn't your normal sort of game, you can still download the trial version. Needless to say, I bought it within seconds of playing the demo :P

This comes at a good time really as I had ordered Guitar Hero 2 for 360 for a decent price of £48 from over the weekend, however they now say up to 4 weeks for delivery. No other retailers can get close to that price so I cancelled the order. Now I'm not so bothered about getting GH2 as it's quite a dent in my wallet and I have a game to satisfy my rhythm gaming urges until GH2 becomes a bit cheaper to buy. That said, I prefer the dancified classic tunes in BBR compared with the rock tunes of GH2, but at the same time, I do like a game with a nifty peripheral :P

Anyway, to bed with me. I'm sure I'll end up dreaming of coloured arrows exploding into pretty fireworks tonight...
slycat: (Default)
When they say on all the warnings and stuff to do with the console, they really do mean it. Do not move the console when there is a disc in the drive, and most certainly do not do this while it's powered on. I was foolishly resting my feet on the Xbox as it's under my computer desk (as I use the monitor for the Xbox too), I felt the urge to scratch one of my feet while a level of Burnout was loading and accidentally tilted the box to one side (it normally sits vertically). When I did this, I heard the most awful noise and quickly righted it. I turned the box off... and then on again to retrieve the disc. The damage had been done. I've got a perfect circular scratch about halfway to the middle of the disc at about a mm in width... Oddly the game still plays but I'm sure I'll get to a bit of the game which relies on data under that scratch, and then I've had it...

So let this be a lesson to you all: Don't be like Sly. Don't use your Xbox as a footrest. And definitley do not move the Xbox while it's on!
slycat: (Dizzy!)
I gave my Xbox 360 a voice following a post from [ profile] electricdog, but sadly it's quite unhappy that I don't play with it every day and get loads of gamer points :P

It's all silly really, but amusing all the same :)
slycat: (Default)
I've had my 360 a while now and have really been enjoying all the features the thing has to offer over just playing games. However today I found two more things the XBox can do which has really suprised me. Firstly, with my NAS (which currently holds all my videos and music) enabled with a UPNP server, I was suprised to find that the XBox just picked it up and was able to play all the MP3s (not OGGs sadly) from the device without any further intevention. This saves me ripping music to the XBox hard drive should I wish to listen to different music as part of a game's soundtrack (Like I often do with Uno as it has particularily annoying music). The box didn't pick up the videos I had on the NAS despite there being some formats it should be able to play (and can using Media Center Extender) but this isn't a major thing.

One further thing I found which totally suprised me was while using the visualiser made by Jeff Minter which is part of the XBox dashboard, the Live Vision web cam picks up any movement and displays the edges of any moving object as part of the visualiser creating some really fantastic effects. Although you can feel a bit of a prat waving your arms around in front of the cam :)

Needless to say, this box continues to suprise me. Looking forward to getting Gears of War and playing that online soon too. Looks like I may need to get the HD-DVD player as well considering it also works on the PC. Shame I just never seem to have enough time for everything... got Every Extend Extra for the PSP today but I've not even had a chance to complete the first level.
slycat: (LocoRoco)
I've a new game to get excited about for Xbox 360, and it's called Space Giraffe (Working title)!  It's the latest creation by the Yak himself, Jeff Minter ([ profile] stinkygoat on LJ) and it's essientially another take on the classic Tempest.  This time round, it's got Minter's ever so trippy visuals, a giraffe for a spaceship and a great soundtrack.  After looking at the video, I realised this is what the Xbox Live Arcade needs.  Simple, original games which take advantage of the Xbox 360's capabilities.

I was quite sad to hear when Yak's long development for Unity for the GameCube was scrapped, presumably because the GC was dieing and Yak was taking too long over it.  So it's come as great news to hear that following his work on the Xbox 360 visualiser, he's going on to do what he does best, make fun games!

Anyway, I recommend people take a look at the video - (can't get embedding to work)

A higher quality video can be found by browsing the YakYak forum :)
slycat: (Dizzy!)
I was quite suprised to find that the Xbox 360 (complete with PGR 3 and Dead Rising) which I ordered on Sunday had arrived today, despite the email saying it'd be 3-5day delivery and was only dispatched on Monday.

Just been playing about with all the features so far and bought myself Geometry Wars (essiential!) and had a quick go on Dead Rising (zombie smashing fun).  If anyone one my friends list also has an Xbox, my gamertag is as it was before, Wootz.  Feel free to add me :)
slycat: (Dizzy!)
I've finally given in to the temptation.  I had been monitoring HotUKDeals for a decent Xbox 360 deal daily since I missed pair of good ones (with Woolworths and Boots) and today there was a fairly decent offer.  I know that had I waited, a better one would have most likely appeared, but I decided this was enough to make me want to buy.  Basically, it's the new £299 premium bundle which includes the premium console, PGR3 and a second wireless controller.  Powerplaydirect were selling it for £289.99 which made it worthwhile being £10 cheaper than anywhere else.  If you bought the components of the bundle today seperately, it'd cost around £350 (although I do realise PGR3 will shortly be re-released as a budget 'classic' game).  There was a whopping £1 off coupon to be used for the site bringing it down to £288.99, and I bought Dead Rising with the console as it was the cheapest place on the net to get it anyway (at £37.99 - kinda scary that that price is considered cheap).  So in the end, I spent a whopping £326.98 in one hit.  A lot to be spending, but I know I can cover it fortunately (although I should probably be saving rather than spending spare cash).  I got it via a quidco link too so potentially I'll get a further 4% cashback on that payment which will be good.

My main draw for the 360 has been Xbox Live, and when Microsoft took payment for another year of Live, it's given me an extra incentive to get the console.  It does seem that things are getting interesting for it now with the Live games and pretty decent new and exclusive games.  Despite the PS3's announced price drop (obviously in response to everyone saying how no-one would get one at it's original price), I still don't see myself getting a PS3.  Microsoft seem to have got the 360 done right this time round.

As an Xbox owner, I'll most likely keep my existing Xbox and use it as a media hub using XBMC, and still play the odd "backup" game on it.  Just need to get a remote for it really.  It's a shame the 360 doesn't support more of my old games.  The 360 is crying out for a new Midtown Madness (absolutely fantastic over Xbox Live), the least they could do was make the old one work over it.  Of my existing games, I should be able to continue playing Burnout 3: Takedown, Crimson Skies, Fable, Halo 1 & 2, Mortal Kombat: Deception, Ninja Gaiden & SSX 3.  However, you don't get a new console to play old games, so I'll be playing much PGR3 & Dead Rising and also the Live Arcade games like Geometry Wars.  To be honest, I see myself wasting more time on the Live Arcade games than the full ones... making full use of the hardware :P.

Anyway, it should hopefully be arriving early next week, can't wait to get playing!
slycat: (LocoRoco)
I've not posted here for a while, but then I've not done much worth recording.  I did go to Thorpe Park again on the 13th with [ profile] arakinuk and [ profile] yagfox, but otherwise not done much.

What I have been thinking about is what mobile phone I want to get next.  I'm pretty much sold on the Nokia brand for my next phone as I am so used to the interface but there's 2 phones out there I want to get.  When it comes to phones, I have to be honest, I don't use them much for their primary use of talking to people.  I don't generally speak with many people on the phone with a few exceptions, I'm more likely to text people.  Anyway, where I don't use a phone much for calls, I do love my gadgest, and so there's 2 new smartphones from Nokia which I've got my eye on.  I need to decide which I want though.

Firstly there's the N80 which has just come out which literally does everything you would ever expect a phone to do with the added bonus of a 3mp camera and wi-fi.  It's got a gorgeous screen and is a slide style of phone (which I've liked since the old Nokia 7110).  The other option is the N93 which is supposedly out sometime in July.  It's got all the features of the N80, but has a larger screen (with a lower resolution), 3x optical zoom in the camera as well as autofocus, can play awesome games and can record DVD quality 30fps 640x480 video.  The downsides are that it's pretty large, not out yet and is a clamshell.  Personally I'm fairly adverse to clamshells as they generally seem girly to me.  Realistically though I don't need the camera, as nice as it would be.  If I really need to use a quality digital camera, my digital camera can do the same but with a better lense and resolution.  I also don't need a phone that can play graphically amazing games, as I have PSP (and shortly a DS Lite, read below for that) for that.  No doubt the N93 will cost more too, so with all things considered I'm undecided.  The sensible side of me says get the N80, but the irrational side of me says get the N93.  Ah, I'll probably give it a month and reconsider I think, my problem is that I always want to have the latest and greatest thing.

Which nicely leads me on to the fact that the Nintendo DS Lite had a European release date announced today.  It's going to cost £99 (€149), will come out on 23rd June and will be available in iPod White and PSP Black.  As it seems we're the only region to get the Black, I've preordered that.  It'll go nicely with the PSP and personally, I detest the "fashionable" pearl white colour.  No this doesn't mean I'm ditching the PSP, I think that both platforms excel at different game types.  The DS is good for quirky, unique but effectively simple games (admittedly more suited to when you just want a quick game) and the PSP is best suited to fun immersive 3D games such as Daxter, Katamari and Outrun.  I still play the PSP, even the older games like Lumines, but I often feel like I never give it the time it deserves.

I've already got a big list of games on the DS I'm interested in including Phoenix Wright, Trauuma Centre, Brain Training, Tetris, Advance Wars, Mario Kart, New Mario Bros, Elite Beat Agents and of course Zelda.  Not got any of them yet, or even ordered them.  Obviously I can't have them all (especially when they aren't out like with New Mario, Elite Beat Agents and Zelda) so I need to decide what will be good as an all rounder before delving into other games.  Maybe I can get some advice in that department, I pretty much like the more unusual puzzle like games.

Elsewhere, I almost bought an Xbox 360 from Game.Net last Friday during their 24hours sale.  They had 10 360 premiums going for £220 but they all went in less than a minute :P.  Probably for the best really as I don't really need a 360 yet.  I'd be buying it for their Live Arcade if I got one one as there's no really inspiring games on it at the moment.  I will get one eventually and also a Wii I expect.  Doubt I'll be in a hurry to get a PS3 though due to their price point and relatively dull games, I think Sony may have lost the ball with the next generation.

Anyway, that's it for now. Until next time :)

January 2015

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