Archive for September, 2010

Eurogamer Expo Survival Guide and What to Take!

Eurogamer Expo is less than one week away, starting Friday 1st October 2010 through to Sunday 3rd October 2010 at Earls Court in London. This year is going to be the largest event EVAR! If you need a reason to drag yourself away from Starcraft 2 for just a day (or all 3) then this is that reason. I must admit even I have been slack since the launch of Starcraft 2, not venturing outside of the internets, I’ve played little else other than SC2 and posted nothing to this blog. But fear not, I am here to offer you a complete survival guide to next weekends Expo, after reading this you will be ready to venture outside and battle hordes of zombies gamers.

First things first you need to start packing, now. Remembering the essentials is always difficult when the excitement of a day trip outside the of the internets is ahead of you. Think of this packing scenario in the same way you tool up in a safe-house in Left 4 Dead. I have prepared my bag in advance, and laid it all out to help you make the right choices, but remember, just like in Left 4 Dead, a med-kit is essential but your choice of other equipment is down to your personal preference.

  • a rucksack – two shoulders are better than one, every geek has a rucksack
  • a laptop/netbook – there maybe times at the Expo that you want to browse/blog or do some general internets
  • beverage – if you have not been to Earls Court before, I recommend you bring your favourite beverage, once you are inside there are no free drinks dispensers ala Half Life
  • oyster card – this is a must if you are traveling on the London Underground, it will let you travel for half the price of paying for a cash ticket, every Londoner has one!
  • reading materials – books, comics whatever, the underground can get very boring and has NO RECEPTION for the internets on your smart phone! I have chosen Scott Pilgram and a Mass Effect comic
  • camera – there will be plenty of celebrities at the Expo, Peter Molyneux (Creative Director, Microsoft Game Studios) and Tim Willits (id Software) to name but a few, so you may geek out and want to snap them
  • sharpie and your copy of Quake 3 (or other game) – did I mention Tim Willits is going to be there! Yes Tim! Willits! He is the guy you see on the Quake 3 time-demo! Get his autograph if you can (or mine if you find me)
  • cash – you may need cash inside, because as with ALL Earls Court events, there is ALWAYS a sweet stand that sells old fashioned sweets, and they only take CASH! Cola Bottles here I come
  • ticket/press pass – finally something everyone cannot afford to forget, your ticket (or press pass if you have been blessed with one, thanks Eurogamer for ours!)

So you’ve packed, now you are ready to fight your way to London Earls Court. If you are going on Friday then do not even THINK about driving. First you have congestion charge as Earls Court is in the zone Monday to Friday, then you have parking which will be NCP extortionate prices and then you have traffic, which means you are missing out on valuable game time. I recommend you get the tube to Earls Court or West Brompton, remember to check TFL website for updated info as there are planned works on the 2nd and 3rd October. The only day you can even consider driving is the Sunday, but you will need to scout around for a single yellow line and remember to double check the signs if you do park otherwise Mr Warden will get you.

Once inside you are pretty much on your own, but do check the Whats On page on Eurogamer’s site so you can plan your day. The highlight for me will be 12pm Friday the 1st Oct as Peter Molyneux will be showing Fable 3, the question is will he have his son with him who may have the answer to Half Life 3? Another big highlight is every day at 5pm Tim Willits himself will be showing Rage, and hopefully Tim, you will be signing my Quake 3 box. Obviously there will be plenty of games on the floor for us to play, I’m looking forward to playing Crysis 2, Fallout New Vegas, Gran Turismo 5 (yes it will REALLY be there), Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and of course checking out all the Indie game stands. By the time you get through all of that, you will no doubt be hungry, all I can recommend is the onsite Pizza Express, everything else sucks!

So look out for us at the Expo, if you find us, then just whisper gamdo in our ears, failing that tweet us @gamdo. Fingers crossed I will have as much photo’s, video’s and live blogging up right here as I possibly can, for those that can’t make it, or I will be playing Fallout New Vegas and have no time, or I will be passed out at the Gran Turismo stand in complete shock that it is actually finished? So look out for the bag in above picture, if I catch you trying to steal it I warn you now, G-r0 knows Kung Fu! See you at the Expo. Team Gamdo

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WRC FIA 2010 Demo, a real rally game

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It was not long ago I was moaning about rally games, yes Dirt 2 was great fun, but it didn’t feel like a real rally game. Yesterday WRC FIA 2010 demo showed up on Xbox Live (where is the promised PC demo?) and now the first thing I’m doing is moaning again. Yes it’s a real rally game, taking me back to the old days of long rides through paper tree countrysides, but all I can think about at first is how bad the menu system is.

It feels like a menu from a Playstation 1 game, so basic, so bland and so boring. Maybe it’s Dirt 2’s fault for full 3D swanky menu’s. But the first impression is awful. The menu is seriously dated, and jumping into your first race you fear the worst, psychologically you are expecting a crap game.

If you can get past this expectation, and even ignore the ageing engine, this is actually a good rally game. I didn’t see a single sole out on the course with me, which is EXACTLY what you want in a rally game, and I certainly didn’t hear Ken Block and chums screaming about how cool they are and what are the latest DC shoes you should be buying. This is a REAL rally game, with realistic damage modeling, so if you smack into a wall on the left (which I just did) expect to lose the front left suspension, duh?

This is just a demo, so maybe the menu will improve? I doubt it, but who cares, real rallying is back albeit hidden away behind the Dirt franchise shadow, which is a shame because I have a feeling this title won’t do so well. The marketing for this has been so low key, I had to hear about it from my casual gaming bro. Searching for details and media on it brings up little info, and good luck trying to find the PC demo that was supposed to be out yesterday (24th September 2010). [update : looks like this site may have the PC demo]

Still I should stop moaning, after all this is what I said I was waiting for right? A real rally game, there is no pleasing some people, especially gamers like me, who always find something to complain about. Writing this has left my Ford Focus idle in the middle of the Neste Oil Rally Finland, and my co driver just shouted ‘why are you wasting time’, nice touch. I better listen to him he is usually right.

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