Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wii Fit, MK Wii abd MGO

Games Played:
Metal Gear Online

The beta of this game finally came online on Friday (and I had the afternoon off after buying Wii Fit).

It has so far proven my main concern about the game. Whilst the Metal Gear Solid controls are fine in a single player game, in a multiplayer they feel overly complex and not very intuitive. Most of the games that I have played so far I have not felt in sufficient control of my character (Bazlurgan – surprise, surprise – btw).

I have, however been surprised at how well the game has been playing, considering the difficulties on getting it up and running in the first place.

I will persevere with it, but I don’t think that it will have the same multiplayer pull of the likes of COD4, Warhawk and Resistance.

Mario Kart Wii

I have now completed the game on every mode possible, 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and mirror. I have also beaten the Nintendo ghost records on every track and unlocked all but one of the characters and almost all of the vehicles. I just need to get a star rank on every circuit now, and hopefully I should be able to do this in the not too distant future.

My unbroken record online was broken the other day, but I have still be winning that majority of races and my online score is currently at around 8000 (it starts at 5000 and goes up or down depending on wins)

Overall, I’m still loving the game. I would even go on to say that it may even be the best Mario Kart to date. The only thing that lest it down is the online battle mode, which is lacking, with overly large areas and just a team deathmatch mode. Online racing on the other hand, is a blast.

Wii Fit

Nintendo are going to make a fortune with this. I predict that in America this is just going to sell and sell and sell.

The presentation of the game is great and it works in a similar fashion to Brain Age, but obviously keeps a track of your weight, BMI and Wii Fit age.

This, similar to Wii Sports, is the sort of game which you could easily cheat on, but by doing this you miss the whole point of the affair. In effect this is not too dissimilar to the type of fitness DVD’s you can pick up anywhere, the difference being that you get feedback from Wii Fit. In Wii Fit, if you are doing well, your trainer will tell you, similarly if you screw up, your trainer will point this out and give a few helpful tips.

What you get out of this, largely depends on the time and effort you put into it.

Both Roz and Elliot have also had a go, and both seem to also enjoy it, and I can see that Wii Fit will likely become a big family game for many households around Europe.

Overall, I’ve been very impressed.

On a side note, I’ve just discovered that I’m terrible at snowboarding… However, this doesn’t stop the fact that Nintendo should definitely think about bringing out an updated 1080 for the balance board,

Monday, April 21, 2008

MK god-like, Lovefilm & MGO beta

I think I may have attained a God like status on Mario Kart…

On Friday evening I had a go online and ended up playing 12 races in total. I was surprised when I won not just the first game, but the second, third, forth etc. It got to the point that I was telling myself that I would keep on playing until I didn’t get first place. Eventually I gave up after 12 games, not because I didn’t become first, just because I was starting to feel guilty for winning all the time.

On Saturday I had another go. 5 Races, 5 1st places…

On Sunday evening I had a go again. 6 races, 6 1st places…

So, by my count that is 23 races where I have attained nothing short of 1st place! These races have also been largely full games, comprising of 8-12 players, also whilst not everyone I have raced against have been ranked as high as me, there have been some which are of a similar ranking. It also has to be said that I haven’t completely aced every race (i.e. I haven’t been miles ahead all the time), there have also been some very close races, where I have edged ahead at the very end

My conclusion?

Me + Mario Kart Wii + online = very good.

As can be seen from my blog, I have been watching a fair few films recently, all of which I have not see previously and as such have been reviewed here. Instead of buying tons of DVD’s as I’ve done in the past, instead I have joined Lovefilm.

So far I have found them to be very good and very fairly priced. They are slightly different to a normal DVD rental establishment in that you don’t choose the exact DVD that you want to rent. Instead you create a list of films that you would like to see and rank them by priority and they then send you these films as and when they are available. This is perfect for me as I have numerous films, both old and new, which I would like to see, but for some reason or another have not got around to watching. At present I have 34 titles on my list and can have up to 3 DVD’s a month at just £5.99 a month.

Over the weekend I have signed up for the Metal Gear Online beta. So far this has been a far from easy experience. The initial download of the beta wasn’t bad, but the patch took forever to download (had to keep it going overnight on a peer to peer network). Following that I needed to obtain both a Konami ID and also a game ID before I could play. The website was so busy, however, that these were a struggle to obtain.

I have now just found out that the beta has been delayed. It was meant to start today but has now been pushed back a day or two… Darn, I was really looking forward to having a go tonight!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Scanner & Bourne

Films watched:
The Bourne Ultimatum

Jerky camerawork aside, a gripping and entertaining thriller.


A Scanner Darkly

Animated drug fuelled sci-fi drama. Odd but slightly engaging.


Monday, April 14, 2008

TV show predictions

TV show predictions…

Okay, I like to think that I’m pretty darn good at predicting the ways in which the storyline of a TV show is going to go and therefore, I’m generally very pleased when I’m genuinely surprised by plot turns. However, here are my predictions for some of he TV shows that I am watching at the moment.

Note: Although these are obviously not spoilers (as they are predictions), unless you are up to speed with the shows in question… Do not read.

1) Battlestar Galactica

The final Cylon (as 4 of the last five were revealed at the end of series 3) will be President Rosalin. My reasoning for this being that she has been having the same shared dream/vision with both number 6 and also Sharon (boomer – can’t remember her new name). As such, I point the finger and shout CYLON!

2) Doctor Who

For the last few series an old adversary has been added to the rejuvenated series, namely (in order of the series so far): Daleks, Cybermen and the Master. I think that for this series it will be slightly different. In actual fact I believe that it will be the Doctor himself who becomes to main villain.

My reasoning behind this is as follows:

For the last few series the doctor has been referred to at times as almost god like, with powers way beyond what someone should wield. This was driven home somewhat with the most recent episode. Therefore, I believe that for some reason something along these lines will turn the Doctor bad.

Also, it is a known fact that many of the previous assistants will be coming back towards the end of the series, namely Rose, Martha, Sarah Jane and Donna. Rather than assisting the Doctor, however, I believe that they may get together to try and stop him.

3) Lost

The final member of the Oceanic 6 will be: Locke.

It will also be Locke that was in the coffin at the end of series 3. I know that Locke is quite likely the least likely to leave the island, but I think that something will prompt him to do so.

4) 24

The next series (when completed) will:

a) Involve terrorists
b) Involve Jack almost dying on countless occasions
c) Will be only slight less inane than the last series.

Well that’s it from me today…

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mario Kart Wii Review

Okay, this can’t really be a review since I’ve only had the game for 1 day, so more like first impressions.

It has to be said that I can’t remember the last time I put so many hours into a new game on the first day that I got it. Looking at my Wii diary it is frightening how long I have played it today, and that my friends is a good sign.

I think that first of all, I think that I should address the control of the game. Very much like SSBB you have a variety of controller options, however, what you also get is the Wii Wheel. I must admit that I was a bit dubious of the Wii Wheel, being a die hard old school Mario Kart fan, however, when I first started playing I gave the Wii Wheel a swirl, and found that I kept on using it for some time, completing all the initial 4 50cc cups using it. It works rather well for a piece of plastic and for novice Mario Kart gamers it is ideal (which is likely the idea of the thing), however, I then tried the Gamecube pad and since then haven’t looked back. Control of the game using the Wii Wheel is very, very good, much better than I had expected, but when I use the Gamecube controller I find that I perform much better, and for that reason alone, I am remaining “old school” when it comes to Mario Kart control.

There are a couple of points I want to make, however. It is very evident that Nintendo would prefer you to use the Wii Wheel. The game keeps a track of how long you use the Wheel and shows the players online who are using it. I have also seen people online with golden Wheel symbols (whatever the hell those mean). However, the most telling indication of this is the button layout for the Gamecube controller. To put it frankly, I could have come up with a better button layout. For some reason they have changed the Double Dash configuration and more annoyingly, assigned the tricks to the D pad. This means, whenever you want to perform a trick, or pull a wheelie, you need to let go of the control stick, which is both unnatural and frankly dumb. I have managed to get used to it, but I can think of better ways in which the pad could be configured and it is shame that you cannot change this. However, I still believe that I do much better with the Gamecube pad, despite these annoyances.

The main bulk of the game isn’t too far removed from Mario Kart DS, some new tracks, some old tracks, but then again I’ve never been one to complain about more Mario Kart. Saying that however, there is no denying that I am loving every second of it. Of the new tracks it is a varied bunch, some are great, others less so.

Next we come onto online. The Wii tends to pick up a lot of flack from the 360 and PS3 camps due to its basic online capabilities. Yes the friend codes are a pain, but I’m normally happy just to jump into a multiplayer game without having to worry about friend codes and for that Mario Kart does admirably. There is not lag, plenty of people to play against, be it racing or battles and the game has run flawlessly so far online for me. There are also a few neat touches, such as the fact that before a race it shows the Mii of who you are racing against, and also where they are based on a globe. Also, if the race is still in progress, you get to watch this.

The match making is also good. Everyone starts with a score of 5000 and depending on wins and losses, this score will increase or decrease. You are then matched against players similar to your score, ensuring that you are equally matched. This also gives you incentive to increase your score. There are also other neat online touches such as being able to race against other players ghost data, matching your time attack time against other people in the world (boy am I good at Bowsers Castle) and also online challenges (which are not active yet – but sound fun).

So overall I have been enjoying Mario Kart Wii just as much as I had hoped. As a Mario Kart Fanatic (which I guess I am) it is everything that I could have hoped for, apart from some slight niggles. It is also a game which is well suited to both casual and more hardcore gamers, now that snaking has been removed there isn’t the gap in skill that there once was, but at the same time, practice does make perfect.

Overall, two big thumbs up.

Delayed :(

Dear LEE HARRIS,This email is to inform you that one or more products listed below from your order has been delayed from shipping. At this time, we do not have a ship date, but your backordered product(s) should be available again within the next 30 days.

Order Contents:
Rock Band Bundle


On a lighter note I have Mario Kart Wii and am enjoying this no end... Will likely blog about it in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rock band incoming…

Okay, hands up… I folded.

I’ve ordered Rock Band on import.

The reason for this is that I actually managed to find somewhere where it could be imported at a reasonable price. Most online retailers are either sold out or are charging an absolute fortune for the Rock Band bundle. Ebay is worse, where you will have to pay in the region of £170-£200+ for the bundle, and even then not be guaranteed that it is a quality product.

Luckily I stumbled across Barnes and Noble, from a recommendation on a forum. There site is here:

Barnes & Noble

It seems like a really good site actually.

From here I have managed to get the Rock Band bundle including postage for just under £104.00! A pretty good deal in my book. So hopefully should be getting this in the post in the not too distant future :)

My only concern now is DLC. I know that there is a way around this using online credit cards and also the fact that PSN cards may be out in the not too distant future, however, I expect that I won’t be too concerned about DLC initially, I’m sure that I’ll have plenty to keep me occupied.

I will likely blog with my report on the game when I get it through.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I went to the doctor today for the results from my blood tests, ECG and blood pressure monitor…

The results are… I’m fine

I do not have high blood pressure… I do not have heart disease, liver disease or any other nasty blood pressure related shenanigans… No I’m “normal”, which is good in my book.

What my doctor did say that I have is “white coat blood pressure”. What this basically boils down to is that I’m paranoid, or more specifically, my body is paranoid. Whenever I have my blood pressure taken my body hits panic mode and any blood pressure shots up. At all other times, like during the day and night, my blood pressure is fine.

So good new today and I have to say that it is a relief, as I have been quietly panicking these last couple of weeks.

Now what was that I just read about Rock Band????

DAMN!!!! (Blood pressure shoots up again)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

No, No, NOOOOOOO!!!!! *sob* :(

I have just read the most disturbing of rumours here:

Via Kotaku

This rumour states that the European release date for Rock Band is due in May... but just for the Xbox360! The PS3 version is dealyed until September!!!!????!!!!

That's September.... SEPTEMBER!!!!!!


Now this is of course a rumour, but these things have a history of becoming true. I just don't see why the PS3 version would be delayed. The PS3 is doing well in Europe when compared to the 360 (the same couldn't be said for the US) and it's not as if the game hasn't already been released months ago elsewhere...

Must calm down and await an official annoucement... grrrr....

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hostel 2 and absolute last star

Film watched:
Hostel: part 2

Odious and mean. A disappointing sequel, lacking originals perverted humour.


Well, I’ve done it…

I’ve got every single star in Super Mario Galaxy, both by Mario and in effectively “hard mode” using the second character introduced after you (fully) complete the game first. Was it hard? Damn right it was. One stage in particular, namely the Battlerock purple comet stage, took me countless attempts and quite literally had me screaming at my TV.

Oh well, Elliot is please that I’ve completed it. He’s been watching me play and assisting me with the second Wiimote. Although for some reason he wants me to play through it all for a 3rd time :-\

Just 1 week now until Mario Kart Wii!