The Golf Club Trailer

I like to think that if I created a trailer for a golf game, it would look a little something like this.

I’m not going to buy a golf game, but still, top marks for the trailer!

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Operation Hipster Vintage Gaming

Crash_Bandicoot_Cover

Since I am currently residing in gaming limbo without a console, I have decided to tick a box that has been on my ‘to-do’ list for a while now and buy an 90’s console. I think we all romanticise our old systems; I remember playing classics like Crash Bandicoot on Ps1 and Donkey Kong on N64 much more fondly than any COD or Halo title from recent years. I’m probably looking back through rose tinted glasses, but I imagine these titles to be much more likeable than the majority of the titles released in the last 12 months.

Operation ‘Hipster Vintage Gaming’ has begun and aims to answer the following question: Would 50 pounds be better spent on one of the latest titles, or on an ancient console playing some heavily pixelated 90’s throwback?

Amazon is my first port-of-call when buying used items, especially games. Something about the no-returns policy of most Ebay sellers puts me off, and I’d rather eat my own hair than open up a payment dispute over Paypal for a faulty console; it’s is too much hassle for my liking, so Amazon it is.

Amazon offer up a used N-64 for £25. Assuming that I am going to have to fork out a few quid for forgotten parts, scart leads, memory packs etc. I assume that the console itself is going to set me back around £30-35 with postage. With the classics (Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, Super Mario) costing at least £12, buying an N64 is actually pretty pricey and is going to have to wait for another day.

The good old Ps1 is much more affordable with a used model of unknown quality costing just £12. Honestly I was always more of a Playstation gamer anyway (which probably makes me a lepper as far as the gaming community is concerned) and the thought of playing through Crash Team Racing again is too alluring for me to resist. 

I’m going to buy it all up in the next couple of days and see how it goes. If anyone has a suggestion for a classic Ps1 title feel free to let me know and I’ll see if I can get hold of it!

Follow me on twitter @SilentJoel

 

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Back Online Baby

After many months (about eleven of them to be precise) I am sticking my blog back online. Yayyy. I’m about as enthused as you are.

As well as the usual game reviews and nerdyness that has defined this blog so far, I’m also going to write up some features and maybe some cheeky movies reviews thrown in there. There’ll be a bunch of other good stuff too, so have a read and let me know what you think!

Other than that just follow me I as stumble around London attempting to pick up a masters degree with all the naivety and carelessness that accompanies the majority of my endeavours. 

Like this T-shirt I’m wearing, it’s going to be legendary

Selfie 1

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My Degree In Maddenology: Madden 25 Review

Madden 25 2Finally a week has passed so I get to do another game review! Now normally I am pretty heavily focussed on reviewing the cheap and easy, but I love American football way too much to leave off reviewing the latest instalment of Madden. In its 25th year, EA Sports have decided to call this game ummm … Madden 25, for obvious reasons.

Madden 25 3

One of the biggest complaints of EA sports yearly repeating engines (FIFA, NHL, NCAA etc etc.) is that they are more concerned with updating the rosters and teams, rather than improving the gameplay itself. This is not the case with Madden 25. In Madden 13, as a result of the new physics engine, there were several problems including: running backs clumsily tripping over offensive linemen, receivers getting held up on routes because they were busy running headlong into defensive backs, and the weird sex acts that started on the floor after every play (see: No More Orgies In The Backfield -Madden 25 Demo). Happily these issues have been fixed with the addition of smarter running backs and all round better run-blocking.

Madden 4

I’m not going to bang on too much about the gameplay because I have already pretty much covered that in my previous article No More Orgies In The Backfield -Madden 25 Demo, let’s just say it is better. Much better. Unfortunately that is pretty much where the improvement ends. The connected franchise is largely the same, save the introduction of the new Owner mode which re-introduces the control freak aspect of owning a team. This is a cool feature, but be prepared to commit a substantial amount of time into the game if you want to give this mode a go.

Madden 5

The head coach and player modes are pretty much the same as in previous games, which is good, but not great. Ultimate team has the nifty new addition of head-to-head seasons, allowing you to compete in a fictional league in an attempt to make the play-offs to earn more coins. However, EA, have decided to make it just that much harder to avoid spending real money on card packs, with much less selection in the packs that you can buy with “Madden coins” and packs must be bought one at a time. Drag.

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All in all though, this game is a substantial improvement on the previous title, with impressive gameplay additions and the addition of Owner mode, it is well worth a buy for fans of the franchise.

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The Liebster Award

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I have very flatteringly been nominated for a Liebster award by The PewPew Diaries. Subsequently I urge you to take a look at their blog because it is pretty darn awesome!

Let’s Get Cracking!

The rules for receiving this award are…:
1. Post the Liebster Award graphic on your site.
2. Thank the blogger who nominated your blog.
3. The nominee is asked to write 11 facts about themselves.
4. Answer the 11 questions from the post of the person who nominated them.
5. The nominee will nominate 9 other blogs.
6. The nominee will then create 11 questions of their own for their nominated bloggers to answer in their Liebster post.

My 11 Facts:

1. I am currently studying for a degree in English Literature with Plymouth University. This is testament to my ability to write a great deal about the blurb and occasionally the introduction of a classic text.

2. I am a big American Football fan. Whilst I am sure this is the norm for most of the bloggers that I follow/follow me, in my native England, this fact generally ensures a lengthy and depressing debate about “how much better rugby is than American Football”.

3. I love pretzels to a point where I am pretty sure that I am going to wake up one day, brown and crispy on the outside with little salt flakes adorning my skin.

4). One time, as a freshman, I managed to arrive at my house in nothing but my Jeans, having lost the rest of my clothes and shoes and socks on the night out. Amazingly, my wallet, phone and keys were all returned to me the next day by kind strangers.

5). My favourite hangover cure is watching Inglorious Bastards.

6). I have completed all the Halo games on solo legendary with the exception of Halo 4. This is mostly because it is devastatingly difficult and I value my sanity slightly more than 100 gamerscore.

7). My favourite game of all time is Pokemon Red/Blue. NOT yellow.

8). I have frequently toyed with the idea of buying the complete pokemon animated series box sets and watching them start to finish.

9). I have broken all of my fingers except my left thumb at one point or another.

10). I was once knocked unconscious by a tennis ball. Didn’t even think that was possible.

11). Recently as part of a rebuttal to a child’s cruel ridiculing of my Halo 4 performance, I used the phrase “I’ve been playing this game since before you were born”. I then realised that not only was that not an excuse for me being crap, I also realised it was probably true. Go figure.

I will now answer the questions set by The PewPew Diaries. 

1. Tell us about one of the most embarrassing moments you’ve ever been through!

I once decided that I could do ‘the worm’ in the middle of a crowded club. I face-planted and cracked my tooth in the centre of the dance floor. Epic fail.

2. What is your favorite cereal?

I am all about Wheatos!

3. Zombie apocalypse, what would you do?

Find Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone, obviously.

4. Your friend struck lottery, and decides that you and your friends are not cool enough for him. What would you do and why?

Go back to finding Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone.

5. Pizza or Pasta?

Pizza. I do however, consume vast quantities of both!

6. What made you start your own blog?

It serves as an outlet for my ridiculous ideas that cannot be inserted into an undergraduate essay.

7. You find out that vampires are real, and the Twilight story is unfolding itself in one of your female friends. What would you do?

I am only vaguely aware of the premise of Twighlight. Thusly I will assume that my female friend is now much stronger than me and wants to cut my throat. This is similar to my relationships with most females so very little would change.

8. If you could only eat 1 dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough. The rule does not have to be enforced for this to be the case.

9. Favorite quote?

“Brick where did you get a hand-grenade?” – “I don’t know”

10. What is the weirdest moment in your life?

The day I realised I could switch between computer programmes by pressing Alt + Tab. My mind was blown.

11. Internet is down for the entire weekend, your friends and family are out of town. What would you do?

Two days out of town with my family and friends would probably end up looking like The Hunger Games. 

My Nominees: Tried to Pick a few lesser-known folks out that I liked to read. Check out their blogs, they’re all great.

awesomesloth

Obelion13

Slick Anthology

Drakulus

The RepubliKa

Game Chronicles HD

this cage is worms

DonCharisma.org

Game Over

League of Mediocre Gamers

And finally the questions for my nominees.

1). What was your gen I starting pokemon?
2). What is the longest amount of time you have spent playing a game?
3). What’s your favourite cheesy joke?
4). If you could play one games console for the rest of your life what would it be?
5). If you could invent one thing, what would it be?
6). Black or blue ink?
7). Rock, Paper, Scissors?
8). If you could swiftly end the career of one music act, which would it be?
9). What is the funniest thing you have ever said/thought that nobody heard?
10). If you could talk to your five year old self, what one piece of advice would you give them?
11). If you could high-five a celebrity who would it be?

I look forward to your responses! Be sure to comment below with a link so I can check them out!

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Get addicted to crack, It’s easier to kick than Xcom: Game Review

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So I’m finally all moved into my new student place and have spent plenty of my hungover hours playing Xbox. That means I have another review for all you lovely people.

From 2K games, we have a remake of the 1994 classic UFO: Enemy unknown. Xcom: Enemy Unknown is a turn based strategy shooter set in the not too distant future on planet earth. Some pesky aliens have begun invading our little planet causing our world leaders to activate the Xcom initiative. You are charged with creating a global hub to deal with the foreign invaders, from intercepting their UFOs to sending strike teams to deal with aliens terrorizing a whole cities, your job is to keep ET and his buddies from turning the world’s population into glowing green mush. 

The combat system is pretty straight forward, advance your squad carefully, making sure to keep them in cover wherever possible. When a decent line of sight is created between you and your enemies you get a chance to wipe their alien faces off the planet in a hail of laser fire and bullets. As your squad  racks up the kills you get the chance to upgrade their abilities depending on their class. Just like Pokemon was in the 90s, this simple system is ridiculously addictive and keeps you coming back for more.

Half of the game is spent developing your base and deploying satellites around the world to monitor alien activity. On ‘Classic’ difficulty this can be really hard and is damn near impossible on your first try. I have had to restart several times as I found myself in an un-winnable situation later in the game. However, when you get it right and start developing the ordinance available for your troops it is incredibly satisfying and addictive. 

All in all Xcom is great fun and is well worth the ten pounds it will set you back. Be warned, once you start, you can’t stop. My degree is at serious risk as a result of this game.

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Gaming: A Bonding Experience – Games for University

Apologies to my regular readers for my current inconsistency. With my next term/semester starting at university in the next couple of weeks I have been crazy busy with other publications and writing projects. I’m taking this opportunity to reduce my blogging. My reviews and articles will be hitting the press on Fridays and I’ll still be chucking up random videos and the occasional rant as and when I get the time, but playing through two games a week was never going to be viable during term time! With that out of the way, I’ve decided to include an article that I have submitted to my University paper. Let me know what you think!

Great University Games

When you come to moving out of halls and living in your own place at university, you have to make the decision pretty quickly: ‘Do I allow my games console to be shared with the people I live with?’ Whilst the pitfalls of such a move include broken controllers, scratched discs, stolen battery packs and the occasional fist fight, the rewards can be great. Here are some great  games to play with your housemates at uni.

Mortal KombatMortal Kombat -A firm favourite in my house, this remains one of the most brutal games I have ever played. Designed to be hilariously graphic, Mortal Kombat allows you to work as a team, if you want to live in a harmoniously, or to pit your wits against each other in a brutal death match. Either way the results are hilarious and satisfying.

Fifa 13

Fifa/Madden/NHL Etc.   Finding a sports game that everyone likes is a good idea. If everyone in your house likes football, pick up the latest Fifa and watch the competitive spirit, horrendous goal celebrations and shameless taunting commence. If you have some American football fans and/or you just want to drive all the girls out of the living room, grab Madden NFL and watch everything feminine mysteriously disappear.

Mario Kart

Mario Kart – A game that everyone enjoys, partly because it’s designed for five-year-olds, and thus the ability to control a car, or any advanced motor skills, are not strictly necessary. Easy to get to grips with, this game can fill many an evening with frustration as you try to complete a game that the average seven year old could master.

Halo 4Halo 3/4– These are not so much for the campaigns (which are brilliant) as the ability to customise maps and game types. With infinite variety in both, anyone who enjoys a first person shooter can create a suitable game type that your housemates can use to fight it out. For increased awesomeness, try using two monitors and linking two consoles together with an Ethernet cable. This increases the available players to eight and makes for a much more strategic matchup. A similar experience can be had using Call of Duty, albeit with slightly less customization.

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