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Monday Musings

By @hmsbeefnuts

As one weekly blog changes hands, another rises up to take Wednesday Whimsy’s place in my writing list. I’m not sure at this point whether this will be a regular blog, or if I will just use the title once in a while, but we shall see how it goes. As I have written elsewhere, my day job no longer allows for me to write whilst at work, and I am finding it increasingly difficult to find time to get any writing done at all, but I shall endure. I am still trying very hard to fit in all sorts of geeky activities, from movies, comics, books and even the occasional video game. In fact, it is about that very subject that I wish to talk about today.

Now I haven’t played a game properly since Skyrim. That was the last time a game fully had my attention, and as one of the greatest games ever made, nothing had really held my attention. But as October rolled into November, and the big Christmas releases began to storm out of the gates, my interest returned. In the last two weeks I have bought 3 Xbox games, that’s more games than I have bought all year, and there are a few more I want before the year is done, as long as my wallet allows. But lets not get ahead of things, the first game I purchased, and the one I have played the most thus far, is Forza Horizon. I do love racing games, and I’ve had a lot of fun with all the Forza series, although I have always been a bit of a Burnout man myself. Forza Horizon is like a wonderful blend of Forza and a more arcadey racer, along the lines of Need For Speed or Burnout, and thus, I am very happy playing it. The graphics are beautiful, all wonderous landscapes, The Rocky Mountains and the surrounding areas are great to drive around. The cars are fantastic looking, and everything visually is stellar. The gameplay which I thought may cause me some problems at first, has proved me wrong. Much like Burnout Paradise, Horizon is based around a huge open world, which you have to drive around to different races etc. I wasn’t in love with this system in Paradise, but in Horizon, I found just driving around a great, and at times quite relaxing experience, with the races adding the thrills and spills in between. I have spent far too many hours racing around Colorado, but I’m loving every second, I literally had to drag myself off it to write this. Forza Horizon is fully recommended to those with a racing bent, absolutely my favourite game so far this year.

The next game I purchased, and it was only last Friday, is WWE 13. I’m loving my wrestling at the moment, and had a lot of fun with WWE 12. I have to say that WWE 13 improves on last years game in every way. The graphics are improved, with the character models simply amazing, especially in the cut scenes, which are used with audio footage of past events, I can actually remember watching the scenes that play out during the campaign, the models are that good. Of course, the big draw this year has to be the Attitude Era mode, which replaces the Road To Wrestlemania mode from last year. Attitude Era takes the player through the greatest era of wrestling, with stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, HHH, Undertaker, Mankind, and of course, the villainous owner of WWE himself Vince McMahon. The roster includes a huge number of Attitude Era legends, and a full roster of current superstars, but it is most fun reliving classic moments like Undertaker vs Mankind in Hell in a Cell, or the Montreal Screwjob. I was surprised that the game is so honest with it’s handling of the Monday Night Wars, with WCW, WWE’s big rival at the time, being given it’s due, and even when something extremely painful happens to a wrestler, the crowd chant ‘ECW’, very surprising and very cool to hear. I would definitely recommend this to any wrestling fan, and make that a must buy if you were a fan during the Monday Night War period. My only criticism would be that sometimes, the events that have to take place during the Attitude Era mode matches are a little vague, it took me a few times to work out what the game wanted me to do at times, but apart from that, this game is most enjoyable.

The last game I purchased, on the same day as WWE 13, hey big spender, was Assassins Creed III. I have been a big fan of all the Assassins Creed games thus far, although I haven’t yet finished Revelations. This is the game I have played the least so far. I think I’ve put in around 2 hours so far, and I have to say, I’m enjoying it. It is very similar to Assassins Creed games past, but if you likes them, I’m sure you will like this. The graphics have had a big overhaul, and everything looks much crisper and prettier. New character Conner plays a bit differently to Ezio or Altair. He is a bigger stronger guy, and his fighting style is more robust and violent, I even DDT’d someone, the developers based his fighting on wrestlers and MMA fighters. The setting of revolutionary America is great so far, and although I have read that some gamers are reporting glitches, as yet, I have not experienced them. I am looking forward to getting further into the game, and with a pretty open social life, at least until mid week, I am expecting I’ll get at least a few more hours in this week.

That’s it for the inaugural Monday Musings. I’ll be back Thursday, and don’t forget Wednesday Whimsy is still around, just written by Caelrona, and not myself. Have a great start to the week.

Wednesday Whimsy

By @hmsbeefnuts

Another Wednesday comes by, and time for more things that have been amusing me over the past 7 days. I happened to see Prometheus, and liked it very much, but will say no more in case you haven’t yet checked it out, you definitely should though.

 

This week, my thoughts are very much attuned to video games as E3 is taking place in LA. A lot of cool games, and even new consoles have been, and are being announced by all of the games industries great and good. As an XBOX 360 and long time Nintendo fan, I was most interested in the XBOX conference and Nintendo’s. Some great looking games were shown, including Halo 4,  Forza Horizon, Splinter Cell: Black List, South Park COD Black Ops 2, and Resident Evil 6. Everything looked very beautiful, perhaps proving there is still life in the old 360 yet. Another exciting announcement was that Xbox and kinect will now have Internet Explorer, finally, and it will all easily be controlled via your phone, or tablet, or kinect, very exciting.

Also in news sure to piss Nintendo off, Microsoft introduced a new service, Xbox Smartglass. This service allows full interactivity between your phone, tablet and Xbox, including a cool feature where the guy on stage was watching Game of Thrones through his Xbox, and his tablet/phone was showing a map that featured info on the scene that was being viewed, including where in Westeros it was set. When the scene changed, the map moved to the new location. It looked very very cool.

At the time of writing, Nintendo is yet to hold it’s press conference, however, they did release some details about their up coming Wii U, including a look at there new gamepad, check it out, I think it looks very sexy.

 

In other news, it seems I was wrong about DC’s choice for it’s newest gay character, it wasn’t a member of the Justice League, but a member of the Justice Society, the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott.

 

Game of Thrones came to a triumphant season end, is it really a whole year to wait for season 3? I simply refuse to wait, I want it now. What a great season though, and what a final scene!!!

 

Only a quick one this week, as I’m off to watch more stuff from E3, or season 2 of Game of Thrones again. See you next week.

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