Posts Tagged Xbox

WRC FIA 2010 Demo, a real rally game


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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Limbo Walkthrough Guide – Stuck on Xbox Indie hit Limbo?

Ok Limbo is tough. Real tough. And if you don’t like spider’s, then you will find it even harder! Limbo has a HUGE spider, arachnophobia sufferers will NOT like this game, WARNING! Apart from the spider, making it through this summer of arcade hit is still mad difficult, so I’m posting up a few walkthrough’s. Here are a few of my antics in Limbo so far, more are coming, check back here and on my Youtube page for more as I upload them.

Above : This is an easy achievement, Wrong Way, just go left as soon as the game starts! Simples.

Above : Here you need to go backwards to go forwards, drag the crate back to the trees!

Above : Taking out the spider is tough, and scary! The trick is to get the spider to bang the ground a couple of times, this drops the bare trap, go back for it, push it towards the spider and do some damage! Watch and learn spider slayers.

Above : Part 1 of the water puzzle! Easily solved

Above : Part 2 of the water puzzle.

Above : More water puzzles, the trick is not to let too much water through!

Above : Children who play with glass houses, erm, what is the saying?

Above : Go left first, and watch your head.

For a full detailed step by step walkthrough, checkout DIYgamer’s guide.

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Red Dead Redemption – How To Duel

Draw your gun, paint your enemy with WHITE crosshairs. Simple

Dueling on Red Dead Redemption is very simple, yet has given myself and many others enough grief to warrant this quick ‘How To’.

The basic concept is to draw your gun using LT (on Xbox 360), then aim using the right analogue stick (RS on Xbox 360). Mark your enemy with as many white crosshairs as possible in different places, this will build your blue meter on the right hand side of the screen. Providing the blue meter is higher than your dueling opponents red meter you will win. So simple, yet can easily end up in death if you fail to paint enough white crosshairs on your enemy. Once you follow this basic pattern you will win every duel, providing you are quicker than your enemy, which isn’t too difficult. White crosshairs on your enemy indicate a perfect shot over a red crosshair, waiting a split second will ensure the red crosshair turns to white, then move on to aim at a different part of the body.

Remember to wait for DRAW to appear onscreen, this will give you the fame you deserve, draw too early and you will lose honor, but you will still win! Additionally you can shoot the gun out of someones hand mid duel with a carefully marked white crosshair, gaining you honor. I hope this helps you walk the wild west with confidence, giddy up cowboy!

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Game Room for Xbox & Games for Windows Live

Microsoft are throwing gamerscore at you to spend time in your Game Room

Game Room has launched today on both Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live. The idea is you fill your virtual ‘Game Room’ with oldskool arcades, reminisce the arcade era, invite your friends over to play together (online), set challenges and have fun like it was the 80’s, but from the comfort of your actual real world game room/basement/office.

So no stepping in chewing gum or wasting coin after coin of your pocket money? Wrong, apart from the not stepping in chewing gum bit. Yes you still have to pay, for each arcade, and to be honest, nearly 20 years on, these games are just not as fun as they used to be. In fact its hard to remember why these games were fun back then, I guess we are so spoilt with today’s photo realistic graphics and rag-doll physics that we forget how far things have moved on.

You can try before you buy of course, a quick demo on a few of the titles available at today’s launch and boredom struck me. These games are just too basic. So I began to wander around my arcade and started adding themes and placing decor, which I should add, nets you some free gamescore. Further boredom struck, so I decided to fire up Game Room on the PC and the Xbox simultaneously for some side by side PC vs Xbox comparisons. Check out my YouTube Video below.

The first thing I was impressed with was the fact that across both platforms, my Game Room was identical. No separate settings or achievements list for each platform like most games that appear on both PC and Xbox (Fallout 3, Dirt 2 etc). Microsoft have made Game Room appear as one across both platforms, allowing seemless jumping from console to PC, and I’m guessing this is part of their 3 screens moto, no doubt with Windows Phone 7 Series having similar compatibility, eventually.

I also noticed how much crisper and smoother Game Room was on the PC. With anti aliasing switched on, and a higher resolution over the Xbox, my Game Room looked and felt better on PC. Of course there are no such options to play with on the Xbox 360 version, the default resolution felt quite low, much lower than the 1080 my Xbox was set too. Loading times are pretty similar but the PC does have a slight advantage as expected. I also noticed some slight jerks on the Xbox when moving from arcade to arcade especially heavily active arcades. I know there have been teething problems with this launch, which might also explain why 2 achievements I gained have not been saved to my account, strange?

Overall Game Room is a bit of a let down, despite Microsoft’s efforts on pulling together a cool idea which is really well implemented, especially the cross platform part. The problem is the games are just not fun, that’s not Microsoft’s fault, but the games are what we go into our Game Rooms for and now, in 2010, we have grown to expect so much more, so much so that some basic 2d sprites just dont cut it anymore.

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Mass Effect 2 – Can’t Place the Monument at Normandy Crash Site?

Press F to place monument not working? Try your melee key!

I seem to be stumbling upon a few bugs in Mass Effect 2, and all are down to making a few changes to the standard key bindings. You can clearly tell this is an Xbox port!

If you have access to the Cerberus network and have downloaded the moving ‘Normandy Crash Site’ DLC, you may be stuck like I was, laying down the monument. Despite pressing the F key multiple times, as instructed when you walk over a suitable location to drop this tribute, if you have changed your melee key, no matter how hard you hit the F key, you will get nowhere.

The on screen display telling you what keys to press has always been faulty, if you change any key in the options it will display the original bind, a widely known and documented Mass Effect 2 bug. So if you do not use standard key layouts, and cannot place the monument, go to options and work out what you bound your melee key too. Simply press the melee key on your chosen location when the ‘Press F to place the monument’ message appears. Voilà. An ugly gold statue placed and mission complete, you can now return back to your ship DLC complete, once of course you do the good deed and collect all 20 dog tags. Its the honourable thing to do in this emotional DLC, a free download and a touching tribute to some charachters that you may remember from the original Mass Effect. So get searching, the dog tags are quite easy to find and would mean alot to the families of the fallen original Normandy Crew. RIP.

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Forza Motorsport 3 – How to move up the leaderboard

Want to rise up the leaderboards? Make sure you are top of your class!

Forza Motorsport, the greatest car simulator series on the Xbox (we don’t have Gran Turismo) has taken the most hours out of my consoles apparent short life span. I missed out on Forza 1 as I skipped the first generation Xbox. So I first came in to contact with the series, like most with Forza Motorsport 2, and could not put it down until I worked my way up past level 35’ish, only to retire as soon as my pre order of Forza Motorsport 3 arrived.  Although it has a more arcade feel, is slightly easier to drive and forgivingly lets you rewind when you screw up, Forza 3 is a lot more fun and less of a trudge. Easily the best car game on the Xbox for the enthusiast or casual driver.

I’m currently a level 42 driver working my way to the top through the season play. One day casually pottering around the leaderboards, to my horror I found a new Xbox Live friend (who had only just bought the game) high above me. In fact everyone I knew was above me on the leaderboards, yet everyone was a lower driver level than me and had put less time into the game. I initially thought either my lap times must be poor or everyone else was The Stig. On closer inspection I had some decent hot laps above most of my Xbox Live friends. Puzzled I examined the way the scoreboards work and spent a few hours claiming back my throne.

The trick is simple, if you are going to do a lap, and want a chance of posting a decent time on the leaderboards to maintain your position or climb higher up, you need to have the fastest car within the class. Using a low in class car is going to have a negative effect on your overall leaderboard position no matter how well you drive. All those career mode events where I used a slow in class car, pushed me down the leaderboards. It is so obvious and simple that I overlooked it!

The leaderboards are divided up by car class, R1, R2, R3, S, A, B, C, D, E, F, take a quick scroll to the top of any leaderboard and you will notice everyone up there has the highest possible number next to there car class letter. So whenever I race now, I pick a car near to the class limit from my garage, and modify it as hard as I can to get as close to the next class as possible without going too far to rollover from say B to A. So get modifying, maximise your car to within the class limit and the rest is down to you, your skill as a driver and how you hit that apex, see you at the top!

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Trials HD Review – Xbox Live Arcade’s best title?

Motocross Maniacs on Gameboy vs Trials HD Xbox Live Arcade

Motocross Maniacs on Gameboy vs Trials HD Xbox Live Arcade

Xbox Live Arcade has created some incredibly addictive titles. Number one for me was Shadow Complex, but this has since been replaced by the dangerously addictive Trials HD. Possibly my love of bikes (pedal :Ed) or my youth addiction to Motocross Maniacs on the Gameboy, or quite possibly the fact that RedLynx has created a gaming masterpiece, either way I am addicted.

A very simple game, drive a bike from left to right in the fastest time without falling off. Sounds basic, but whats not so basic are the bike and rider physics RedLynx have hammered into this game. Apart from acceleration and the brake pedal, which are responsive to how hard you hit the analogue triggers, you also have the ability to adjust the riders position. Lean forward on your bike of choice to help climb to crazy heights, or swing back to lift the front wheel and perform jumps onto obstacles that at first, seem impossible to reach.

With no steering to get in the way and little else but wildly barmy obstacle courses, Trials HD manages to put pure fun back into gaming. Easy to pickup but rock hard to master, RedLynx have made an XBLA title that attracts casual gamers yet still caters for the hardcore. The leaderboards are the prime example, with the lap times for every gamertag, the top times bordering on the insanely inconceivable. You can also compete with gamers on your friends list, with the on-screen indicator showing their real-time position on the course as you are driving, a small touch but genius nevertheless.

Hours will be lost repeating each map and going for the gold medals, which require zero faults and tight time limits to hit, and later once you have unlocked the platinum medals, you will end up replaying every map again only to realise how impossible they are to achieve. Speaking of achievements, Trials HD gives you some absurd ones to get the 200 Gamerscore allocated to this and most XBLA titles. I spent the good part of an afternoon going for my favourite, the Unyielding Achievement, which requires the Groundhog Returns level to be completed with nothing but accelerate and brake. I am so proud of finally achieving this I thought I would post my effort so others may use it as a guide.

This game and a large friends list will be never ending, for only 1200 points that’s more value than most full Xbox titles. I found myself going through the leaderboards and picking out where my friends had faster lap times and replaying the levels until I came out on top. Falling off a bike has never been so fun! Where most games become annoying repeating the same parts over and over, I found myself laughing ever time I did fall off, picked myself back up and carried on determined to beat the obstacle, even if some times it does take over 300 attempts on one ramp.

9/10  A Must Have Title

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